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Donald Trump Montana Politics Ryan Zinke The Media US Politics

Divergent SEALs

As Trump continues his assault on the “fake news media” calling them the “enemy of the American people,” a noted former Navy SEAL offers a different perspective.

A retired four-star admiral and SEAL, William H. McRaven described Trump’s remarks as the “greatest threat to democracy” he’s ever seen. “We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people,” McRaven said.

That’s coming from a man who’s seen major threats to democracy, reports the Washington Post:

McRaven, who was commander of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command, organized and oversaw the highly risky operation that killed Osama bin Laden almost six years ago. The admiral from Texas had tapped a special unit of Navy SEALs to carry out the May 2011 raid on the elusive terrorist’s hideout, a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. One of the most experienced terrorist hunters in the U.S. government (McRaven) had spent years tracking bin Laden and recruited the Navy SEALs that carried out the raid two months before the terrorist was killed.

Contrast McRaven’s statement with that of U.S. Secretary of the Interior nominee and former SEAL Ryan Zinke:

“The media is never going to be on his (Trump’s) side,” Zinke said in an interview with the Missoulian. “He’s gonna say the sky is blue and the media is going to call him racist because he didn’t mention red or white.”

It’s a ridiculous quote but remember, Zinke was an early Trump cheerleader, which certainly didn’t hurt his chances of becoming the interior secretary in Trump’s cabinet. And although he hasn’t been confirmed, Zinke has pretty much quit his role as Montana’s sole representative in Congress, having not cast a vote since Jan. 5.

Time will tell if Zinke continues enthusiastically supporting all the outrageous Twitter attacks Trump has leveled at the media, and other targets. If Trump continues to falter and the rats start fleeing the sinking ship, maybe Zinke will start distancing himself. Otherwise, he’s all in.


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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.


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  • Mr. Zinke may be MIA in our House, but he’s been on the job with Facebook entries.
    So sad to see a basically decent Ryan Zinke willingly getting himself positioned to serve power masters with nil sense of decency.
    So sad to see Keystone KXL now considering route adjustments near the Fort Peck Reservation.

    • Bob, incidentally, recently shared with me some excellent Google Earth images that he’s annotated that depict Dakota Access and Keystone XL crossings. Bob does outstanding work.

  • James, thanking you for your scores of correlation charts, Tables and Figures of graphics!
    I’ll send to Pete Talbot the view of the site for the KXL Fort Peck Pump Station.

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