Trump Falsely Claims That He Predicted Bin Laden Threat Before 9/11

“Fools!”

Jim Loscalzo/ZUMA

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Fresh off his remarks deriding the former Navy SEAL who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, President Donald Trump on Monday claimed that he had predicted the national security threat posed by the Al Qaeda leader in a book published one year before the 9/11 attacks.

This isn’t the first time Trump has falsely claimed to have foreseen Bin Laden’s rise. As Mother Jones explained back when he first made the assertion on the campaign trail, Trump’s 2000 book, The America We Deserve, did not include such astute observations. Bin Laden is mentioned once in passing in the book, and the brief paragraph merely references the fact that Bin Laden had already been labeled “public enemy number one.” 

The president on Monday also repeated his insistence that Bin Laden should have been captured sooner and criticized former President Bill Clinton for “famously” missing his chance to take out the Al Qaeda leader in a 1998 bombing raid. 

The tweets come on the heels of Trump’s attacks against William McRaven, the retired four-star admiral and onetime Navy SEAL who oversaw the 2011 raid that killed Bin Laden. McRaven has been critical of Trump, writing in a scathing Washington Post op-ed this summer that Trump has “embarrassed us in the eyes of children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.” During an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace that aired Sunday, Trump dismissed McRaven as a “Hillary Clinton fan” and an “Obama backer.”  

“I did not back Hillary Clinton or anyone else,” McRaven said in a statement responding to Trump’s remarks. “I am a fan of President Obama and President George W. Bush, both of whom I worked for.”

“I stand by my comment that the President’s attack on the media is the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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