In a wide-ranging interview on Fox News Sunday, President Donald Trump slammed Adm. William H. McRaven, the strategist behind the raid that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden. Trump derided McRaven as a Hillary Clinton supporter and suggested that he should have carried out the raid sooner.
“He’s a Hillary Clinton backer and an Obama backer,” the President concluded about the respected military professional. “And frankly, wouldn’t it have been nice if we’d gotten Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that?”
McRaven had previously criticized the President for his attacks on the media and for revoking former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance.
Retired Marine Col. David Lapan appeared on CNN Monday morning to set the President straight on how the chain of command works.
“I think the President’s comments show a fundamental misunderstanding of not only fundamental operations and the chain of command, but how they operated specifically in the raid to capture and kill Osama bin Laden,” he said.
“At the time, Adm. McRaven was the head of Joint Special Operations Command and he and his special operators were tasked with the mission to go into the compound in Pakistan and that order was given by the President. The decision of when to go after bin Laden was made by the President of the United States as the Commander in Chief in consultation with his national security staff. That’s very well understood.”
“So Admiral McRaven had no real say over when he was going to conduct this operation. He followed orders. And as he’s pointed out rightfully, whether the occupant of the White House is a Republican or a Democrat, he’ll follow lawful orders that he’s given,” Lapan concluded.
Asked by CNN host Jim Sciutto if he thinks the President doesn’t understand how military institutions operate or if he just doesn’t care, Lapan joked that he, like most people, has no idea what’s going on in the President’s head, but that Trump had recently demonstrated a striking ignorance of military procedure.
Yet Lapan said that as long as the President’s actions are lawful, military professionals are compelled to follow his orders.
“They’ll still carry out their duties because that’s what’s expected of them in our system.”
’Let ‘em go’: Ex-police commissioner lays into Buffalo cops who quit Emergency Response Team
On CNN Friday, former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey slammed the 57 Buffalo police officers who resigned from the city's Emergency Response Team in solidarity with a pair of officers investigated for shoving an elderly man to the ground and then lying about it.
"If they want to resign, they should resign from the department," said Ramsey. "They don't have a vote in what unit they're in or the running of that department. They would not be allowed to step down from those positions. If they want to resign from the police department, let 'em go, and I would not bring them back, it just means you have some slots you have to fill. That kind of stuff is ridiculous and can't be tolerated."
Trump accused by ex-Defense Secretary of putting US on ‘the trail toward a dictatorship’
During an appearance on CNN on Friday morning, former Defense Secretary William Cohen - who also served in the U.S. Senate as a Republican -- denounced Donald Trump in no uncertain terms, saying his use of military personnel against anti-police brutality protesters is a sign he has set the country on the path to a dictatorship.
To emphasize his point, he later called Trump the "dictator-in-chief."
Speaking with host Jim Sciutto, Cohen didn't mince words after the CNN host noted that the president and his former attorney called the protesters "terrorists."
"What does it mean for you to hear a sitting president dismissing a whole range of protesters, who in fact were largely peaceful around the White House, dismissing a whole range of them as terrorists? What does that mean to you?" the CNN host asked.
Richmond mayor schools white lawmaker complaining removal of Confederate statue strips her of her history
Appearing on CNN's "New Day" on Friday morning, the mayor of Richmond, Virginia set a white state lawmaker straight over her comments that the imminent removal of a statue commemorating Confederate General Robert E. Lee was erasing her history.
Speaking with host John Berman, Mayor Levar Stoney expressed pleasure at the upcoming removal of the massive statue, saying it was a long overdue -- before the interview turned to comments made by State Senator Amanda Chase (R) made in a Facebook post.
Noting that the white lawmaker complained, "Let's be honest here, there is an overt effort here to erase all-white history," Stoney had a few words for the lawmaker.