- President Donald Trump said on Monday he “pointed out” Osama bin Laden in a book of his, published in 2000, and then blamed former President Bill Clinton for not killing him before the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
- Trump has been publicly clashing with the former US Navy admiral who was in charge of the 2011 raid that killed bin Laden near Abbottabad, Pakistan.
- Trump also used the opportunity to defend his September funding cut to Pakistan, one of the world’s poorest nuclear nations and one that struggles with domestic extremism.
- Trump did mention bin Laden before the 2001 attacks and made him a household name in his book “The America We Deserve,” but he did not predict any terror attacks.
President Donald Trump said on Monday he “pointed out” Osama bin Laden in a book of his, published in 2000, and then blamed former President Bill Clinton for not killing him before the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
“Of course we should have captured Osama bin Laden long before we did. 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!” Trump tweeted on Monday.
Trump has repeatedly touted his mention of bin Laden in “The America We Deserve,” a book he put out shortly before the attacks.
Trump’s book did name bin Laden in a chapter on the US foreign policy he envisions but did not explicitly call for a US strike on him or provide any specific predictions. Instead, he used him as part of an example of what he calls “haphazard” foreign policy.
Throughout his 2016 campaign, Trump claimed to have predicted the attacks.
Clinton, while in office, did attempt to take out bin Laden, but he had no success. When bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan was finally searched, documents revealed he and other al-Qaida figures had been planning the September 11 attacks and others for years.
Recently, Trump criticised retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven, a former Navy SEAL commander who oversaw the raid that took out Osama bin Laden in 2011.
In an interview with Fox News, Trump called McRaven “a Hillary Clinton backer and an Obama backer.” McRaven did not endorse Hillary Clinton or former President Barack Obama. McRaven has vocally opposed Trump for his clashes with the US intelligence community.
“The mission to get bin Laden was bipartisan. We all wanted to get him as soon as we could,” Robert O’Neill, the US Navy SEAL who killed bin Laden said on Twitter.
In the same Fox interview, Trump accused Pakistan of not doing “a damn thing for us.” Trump has cut around $US800 million in military assistance to Pakistan, one of the world’s poorest nuclear nations.
Pakistan has widely been seen as harboring terrorists and being friendly to Islamist forces that sometimes clash with the US in Afghanistan.
Trump campaigned on crushing ISIS with increased airstrikes and US military presence, but its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has participated in planning attacks on the US, likely remains at large. So does al-Qaida’s current head, Ayman al-Zawahiri.