The White House is warning journalists and lawmakers against criticizing a botched raid by U.S. commandos on a Yemeni village last month that left 25 civilians and one U.S. soldier dead. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports the January 28 assault killed nine children under the age of 13, with five other children wounded. Among those critical of the raid was Arizona Republican Senator John McCain.
Sen. John McCain: “When you lose a $75 million airplane, and, more importantly, American lives are—a life is lost, and wounded, I don’t believe that you can call it a success.”
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer lashed out at Senator McCain and journalists for criticizing President Trump’s decision to order the raid.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer: “It’s absolutely a success. And I think anyone who would suggest it’s not a success does disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens. He fought knowing what was at stake in that mission. And anybody who would suggest otherwise doesn’t fully appreciate how successful that mission was, what the information that they were able to retrieve was and how that will help prevent future terrorist attacks.”
Kristen Welker: “But even Senator John McCain—”
Press Secretary Sean Spicer: “I understand that. I think my statement is very clear on that, Kristen. I think anybody who undermines the success of that rage [sic] owes an apology and a disservice to the life of Chief Owens.”
Spicer’s comments came as the United Nations appealed for $2.1 billion in emergency aid to Yemen. The U.N. warns 12 million people face the threat of famine brought on by a U.S.-supported, Saudi-led war and naval blockade.