‘Fools’: In takedown of Pakistan, Trump’s dig at Clinton for ‘missed shot’

In the interview to Fox news, Trump had castigated Pakistan for “not doing a damn thing for us” despite the billions it had received from the United States in aid over the years.

Updated: Nov 19, 2018 23:08:39

By Yashwant Raj

US President Donald Trump talks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, US, before his departure to California, November 17. (REUTERS)

President Donald Trump on Monday called Pakistanis “fools’ for not alerting the US about Osama bin Laden who was killed in a navy SEAL raid in Abbottabad in Pakistani in 2011, which he has also argued should have happened sooner and criticized the commander of the US operation for it.

“Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did,” President Trump said in a Tweet on Monday, carrying forward an argument he first voiced in an interview to Fox News that aired Sunday.

“I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!”

He said in a follow-up tweet: “We no longer pay Pakistan the $Billions because they would take our money and do nothing for us, Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another. They were just one of many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s ENDING!”

Trump tweets came hours after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan fired back at the US President, underlining that the US had only provided what he described as a ‘minuscule” $20 billion in aid. Khan went on to highlight that Pakistan had lost 75,000 lives and $123 billion in what was essentially the United States’ “War on Terror” though no Pakistanis were involved in the Sept 11 attacks.

Instead of making Pakistan “a scapegoat for their failures”, the US should do a serious assessment of “why the Taliban today are stronger than before”, the Pakistan PM said.

In the interview to Fox news, Trump had castigated Pakistan for “not doing a damn thing for us” despite the billions it had received from the United States in aid over the years. “We were giving them $1.3 billion a year -- which we don’t give them anymore, by the way, I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.”

Trump suspended nearly $2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan in January just days after he had slammed Pakistan in a New Year tweet: “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.”The US president’s Monday Tweet was perhaps in response to the attention his criticism of retired Navy Admiral William McRaven, who had commanded the SEALs operation that killed bin Laden in Abbottabad, a cantonment town that is also home to an elite Pakistan military school, on May 2, 2011 for not doing it sooner.

In the Fox interview, the president first dismissed the retired commander Admiral William McRaven as a “Hillary Clinton fan” and an “Obama backer”, and then said, “Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice?”

“You know, living — think of this — living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan, in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer. But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there.”

McRaven, who is himself a former SEAL and member of the elite SEAL Team 6, oversaw the operation as head of the US special operations command. He had also commanded the operation that captured Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and has long been held as one of America’s leading military leaders, and an icon, who has thus far resisted calls to run for the White House.

But McRaven, who is battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia — a slow-progressing form of blood cancer has also been critical of the president. After the White House withdrew security clearance to former CIA director John Brennan, the retired admiral wrote an oped inviting the administration to revoke his as well. And he had gone on to criticize the president’s leadership qualities, or the lack of it. “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.”

Trump, who prides himself as a counter-puncher but avoided military service due to a bone-spur, has hit back months hence,. The president has also picked up with fights with other military leaders, and disparaged families of fallen soldiers.

First Published: Nov 19, 2018 23:08:02


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