News & Politics

Retired Admiral Scolds Trump in Fiery Op-ed: 'You Have Embarrassed Us in the Eyes of Our Children'

The rebuke came in response to Trump's targeting of former CIA Director John Brennan.

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Gordon/Released

President Donald Trump has demonstrated a noticeable fondness for military leaders, surrounding himself with officers such as Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and former national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. Many have speculated that this fondness comes from personal insecurity, as Trump himself famously avoided military service during the Vietnam War — supposedly because he had "bone spurs."

So the latest rebuke from retired Navy Admiral William McRaven, who was commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command and oversaw the raid the killed Osama bin Laden, is sure to get under his skin.

McRaven denounced Trump's recent unprecedented decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, a fierce critic of the president. He said Brennan has "unparalleled integrity."

"Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency," McRaven wrote.

He had high hopes for Trump as president, he writes, but he has been let down.

"Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation," he continued. "If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be."

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.