President Donald Trump on Thursday slammed Sen. John McCain on Twitter for criticizing the recent U.S.-led raid in Yemen in which a Navy SEAL died.
The Arizona Republican, who was briefed on last month's mission, told NBC News on Wednesday that he cannot call it a success "when you lose a $75 million airplane and, more importantly, an American life is lost." In a series of tweets Thursday, Trump argued that McCain "talking about the success or failure of a mission" only "emboldens the enemy."
Trump: Sen. McCain should not be talking about the success or failure of a mission to the media. Only emboldens the enemy! He's been losing so....
...long he doesn't know how to win anymore, just look at the mess our country is in - bogged down in conflict all over the place. Our hero..
..Ryan died on a winning mission ( according to General Mattis), not a "failure." Time for the U.S. to get smart and start winning again!
McCain's office in a statement: "Senator McCain will continue to execute his oversight duties as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and support brave men and women serving our nation in uniform."
McCain, who was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, came under attack by then-candidate Trump in July. "He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured," Trump said.
On Wednesday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer argued that "anyone who undermines the success of that raid owes an apology and [does] a disservice" to Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, who was killed in the mission.
The raid, which the administration said was meant to extract intelligence from an al-Qaeda camp, led to a firefight, according to NBC News. One of the people killed was an 8-year-old American girl, the daughter of U.S.-born al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, according to NBC. Al-Awlaki was killed in a 2011 U.S. drone attack.