Pakistan

"Fools!": Trump blasts predecessors, Pakistan on Osama bin Laden

President Trump doubled down on his criticism of past administrations, military leadership and the nation of Pakistan for not capturing or killing Osama bin Laden sooner in a series of Monday morning tweets.

"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! We no longer pay Pakistan the $Billions because they would take our money and do nothing for us, Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another. They were just one of many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s ENDING!"

The big picture: Trump made waves yesterday in an interview with "Fox News Sunday" after he blasted retired Navy Adm. William McRaven, who organized the bin Laden raid, when asked about McRaven's criticisms of his rhetoric toward the media. And cutting foreign aid to Pakistan due to its continued support of the Taliban has been a strategic goal for the Trump administration, having slashed a total of $800 million already this year.

Expert Voices

Rising death rate prompts some in Congress to reassess "war on terror"

Rep Ro Khanna speaks at a rally with MoveOn members and allies gather with leading senators to demand that the Senate vote to reject Mike Pompeo's nomination for Secretary of State at US Capitol
Representative Ro Khanna speaks at a rally against Mike Pompeo's nomination for Secretary of State at the Capitol on April 11, 2018. Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty Images

The United States’ “war on terror” in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq has directly killed at least 480,000 people since 2001, according to a new report by the Costs of War Project at Brown University. This is an increase of 113,000 over the last count, issued just two years ago.

Why it matters: After their victory in the midterms, House Democrats will try to advance a national security strategy emphasizing restraint and accountability for the costs of the war on terror. This new body count signals that, far from diminishing, the war is only intensifying.

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