Admiral William McRaven wrote a scathing op-ed in The New York Times on Thursday condemning Donald Trump and saying that the United States is clearly under attack by our own president.
The former commander of US Special Operations Command noted that Trump has been attempting to make himself seem all-powerful and that anyone who defies him or holds him accountable are the enemy of the people.
“He has called the press the enemy of the American people and I will tell you, I’ve fought a lot of America’s enemies. The press is not the enemy of the American people,” McRaven told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
He went on to say that Trump left the Kurdish people on the battlefield when the American military prides themselves on never leaving a soldier behind.
“He’s undermined our NATO allies and really the international committee has lost faith in America then throughout the course of this, he’s convinced us he’s doing it for the right reasons,” McRaven said. “I think that’s really what is troubling.”
He went on to say that he thinks people forget that the U.S. “is a nation of value,” not just transactions. But Trump is a transactional president, he said.
“He believes that it’s only good if it is good for us,” he continued. “But he forgets we’re the same nation that fought Nazism and fascism and terrorism and not just because it was good for us, but because it was the right thing to do and the men and women in the law enforcement community, those people, those Americans, believe these values are important. I don’t believe the president fully understands that.”
“As I’ve said a number of times before, I’ve had the privilege and honor of working for a lot of presidents and I didn’t always agree with them,” he later said. “But I believed they were men of principle. They were trying to do what’s right by the country. They didn’t always get it right, but were trying to do what’s right. I don’t see that in this president.”
McRaven’s condemnation of Trump is shocking because it is rare for high-level military members to speak out against the commander-in-chief. But McRaven felt that this needed to be said.
“We believed we were a nation of laws. The First Amendment. We believed in universal rights. We believed that we were the good guys and if we’re no longer the good guys, it’s going to be very difficult to inspire people to join the intelligence committee, the military, any part of the federal government where those values are so kit to doing your job and to sacrificing for this country,” he closed.
McRaven also appeared on CNN to speak about his op-ed. Take a look: