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Trump lashes out at McCain, Democratic senator and CNN

President Trump lashed out at Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Thursday, saying that the senator’s negative assessment of a deadly raid in Yemen last month “emboldens the enemy!”

He also criticized Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn, who publicly shared that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch had told him he found Trump’s attacks on the federal judiciary “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”

McCain initially referred to the raid as “a failure” but later dialed back his criticism, saying in a statement Tuesday that some objectives were fulfilled in the mission but that he would “not describe any operation that results in the loss of American life as a success.”

The Jan. 28 raid on al Qaeda — billed as an intelligence-gathering operation — turned into an hour-long gunfight as Navy SEALs and troops from the United Arab Emirates clashed with well-entrenched al Qaeda fighters.

One of the SEALs, Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, was killed. Five other service members were wounded by hostile fire and a hard landing after a Marine transport aircraft crashed near the raid site.

“Sen. McCain should not be talking about the success or failure of a mission to the media,” Trump said in a series of tweets Thursday morning. “Only emboldens the enemy! He’s been losing so long he doesn’t know how to win anymore.”

“Our hero Ryan died on a winning mission ... not a ‘failure,’” Trump tweeted.

The president’s attack on McCain, a fellow Republican and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, came a day after White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeatedly said during a news briefing that the raid was a “huge success” and that questioning it does a “disservice” to Owens.

Last week, Spicer stopped short of calling the raid an unqualified success, telling reporters: “I think it’s hard to ever say something was successful when you lose a life.”

On Wednesday, Blumenthal relayed to reporters comments he said were made by Gorsuch during a private meeting.

The account was confirmed by Ron Bonjean, a member of the group guiding the judge through his confirmation process on behalf of Trump’s administration.

Trump did not elaborate as to how he thought Gorsuch’s comments had been misrepresented. The White House did not immediately respond to a request to explain the president’s assertion on Twitter.

But in a tweet, Trump wrote: “Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie), now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?”


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