Robert J. O’Neill, the retired U.S. Navy SEAL who is credited with firing the shot that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, recently slammed President Donald Trump’s proposed military parade, calling it “third world bullsh***.”
O’Neill, a Trump supporter, is the latest in a string of famous political conservatives panning the president’s plan for a military parade in Washington, D.C.
Last week, The Washington Post reported that Trump had asked the Pentagon to begin planning a military “celebration” to showcase the strength of America’s military forces. The parade will reportedly take place along the inaugural route from Capitol Hill and the White House and could take place later this year. Both the White House and the Pentagon confirmed that Trump’s “grand” military parade is in the preliminary planning stages. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later issued a statement confirming that Trump had asked the Department of Defense to explore the possibility of staging a military celebration.
But reactions to the news about Trump’s proposed military parade are mixed, and even Trump supporters, like O’Neill, have criticized the idea. In a recent tweet, the ex-Navy SEAL slammed the president’s proposed military celebration as something that’s just not done in America.
“A military parade is third world bullsh***.”
“We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation,” he added.
Responding to suggestions that he is against Trump, O’Neill tweeted, “I simply think a parade is a bad idea. And I used locker room talk…”
O’Neill’s social media posts show that he had dinner with Donald Trump at the White House in October last year. In 2014, he revealed to The Washington Post that he was the one who fired the shots that killed 9/11 terror attacks mastermind bin Laden in May 2011. His story was later confirmed by two of his colleagues.
The decorated military vet now works as a security consultant, public speaker, and Fox News contributor. He wrote the bestselling The Operator, in which he recounts killing bin Laden and describes his life as a Navy SEAL.
Aside from O’Neill, other conservatives have spoken out about the proposed military parade. Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) told ABC News that he “[doesn’t] think it’s a particularly good idea.”
“Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.”
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) had harsher words, telling the outlet that he has no desire to go to a “Soviet hardware display,” calling it “cheesy and weak.”
On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis backed Trump’s military parade, telling CNN and other outlets that the proposed celebration stems from the president’s “affection and respect for the military.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham says he wouldn't mind a "thank you" parade honoring service members, but "not a display-of-hardware parade. I have no desire to go to the Soviet hardware display. To me, that's cheesy and weak." https://t.co/FGYfXVdrGx pic.twitter.com/jkQcwhdRyK— ABC News (@ABC) February 7, 2018
But according to an informal poll conducted by the Army Times, most people don’t think the military parade should push through. Roughly 89 percent of the more than 51,000 respondents reportedly answered that Trump’s parade is “a waste of money and troops are too busy.”