William McRaven gained fame for leading the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but now the retired four-star admiral had resigned from a Pentagon advisory board after offering sharp criticism of Donald Trump.
McRaven led U.S. Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014, taking the lead on the Pakistan raid that left the Al-Qaeda leader dead. Though retired from active service, McRaven continued to serve in an advisory role on the Defense Innovation Board, a group of leaders that advised Pentagon officials. As Defense News reported, McRaven is now gone from that board after offering a very public criticism of Donald Trump’s action toward former leaders who criticize him.
The report noted McRaven resigned from the board back in August, a few days after posting a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post responding to Donald Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance for former CIA director John Brennan. McRaven wrote that Trump “embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.” McRaven went on to call on Trump to revoke his security clearance as well.
McRaven is not the only one to criticize Trump for his decision to revoke security clearances from those who have criticized them, with many seeing it as a vindictive move. Former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden also said he would be fine if Trump revoked his clearances as well, saying he would not want to be confused with someone who excused the actions Trump had taken.
“And frankly, if his [sic] not revoking my clearance gave the impression that I somehow moved my commentary in a direction more acceptable to the White House, I would find that very disappointing and frankly unacceptable,” said Hayden in an appearance on CNN.
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) September 15, 2018
Trump had threatened to revoke the security clearance of other former officials who have criticized his actions and followed through on the threat with Brennan after he criticized Trump. Brennan had taken aim at Donald Trump for his decision to meet in secret with Russian President Vladimir Putin and then praising the Russian leader, appearing to take Putin’s side over his own intelligence agencies on the issue of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Brennan said the meeting was “nothing short of treasonous.”
It was unclear exactly when William McRaven resigned his position on the Pentagon advisory board, or whether it was a personal decision or at the behest of Donald Trump.