President Trump slams AZ Sen. John McCain on TwitterPosted: Updated:
Just one day after Arizona Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, criticized an American operation in Yemen that left a Navy SEAL dead, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to express his opinion on McCain's assertion that the mission was not a success.
The Jan. 29 raid targeted an al Qaeda compound in Yemen. The mission was months in the planning and approved by the Obama administration late last year, but it was delayed for "operational reasons," according to CNN.
Trump reportedly learned about the plan less than a week after his inauguration and gave it the green light making it the first special mission he authorized.
A Navy SEAL -- Chief Petty Office William "Ryan" Owens -- was killed and three more members of the SEAL team were injured. An air strike resulted in civilian casualties, as well.
"While many of the objectives of the recent raid in Yemen were met, I would not describe any operation that results in the loss of American life as a success," McCain said in a statement said in a statement about the raid.
The Trump administration vehemently disagrees.
"It's absolutely a success, and I think anyone who would suggest it's not a success does disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said after McCain's comments.
Trump lashed out at McCain personally on Twitter Thursday morning, saying, "[McCain has] been losing so long he doesn't know how to win anymore ...," and describing the Yemen raid as "a winning mission."
The string of tweets started with an admonition.
"Sen. McCain should not be talking about the success or failure of a mission to the media. Only emboldens the enemy!"
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....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
...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..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
..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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
McCain, 80, has not directly responded to Trump's Twitter tirade.
"I have my responsibilities on the Armed Services Committee and we just had a hearing where the general in charge of Afghanistan says we're not winning. We're in a stalemate. That's where I'm focusing my efforts," he said. "I just have to do my job."
This is not the first time Trump has taken a Twitter swipe at McCain, who seems to have become the president's top Republican nemesis in Congress.
One the day before Arizona voters begin casting early ballots in October, the then-presidential nominee tweeted, "The very foul-mouthed Sen. John McCain begged for my support during his primary (I gave he won), then dropped me over locker room remarks!"
The comment came after McCain revoked his endorsement of his party's nominee following the release of an 11-year-old video in which Trump bragged about groping and attempting to seduce married women.
The very foul mouthed Sen. John McCain begged for my support during his primary (I gave, he won), then dropped me over locker room remarks!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2016
Going back to July 2015, Trump sparked a political firestorm by blasting McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war after his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War, and his military service.
"He's not a war hero,” Trump said in a TV interview. “He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured, I have to tell you."
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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