- The Washington Times
Wednesday, October 14, 2020

A former Navy SEAL who claims to have been part of the team that killed Osama bin Laden hit back at a conspiracy promoted by President Trump that suggests the terrorist leader’s death was a hoax.

The rebuke from Robert O’Neill, a famed Trump supporter, came after the president retweeted a post from a QAnon-affiliated account that has since been suspended, but touted an unproven conspiracy theory that a body double for bin Laden was killed by SEAL Team 6 instead of bin Laden himself.

“Very brave men said [goodbye] to their kids to go kill Osama bin Laden,” Mr. O’Neill tweeted.

“We were given the order by President Obama. It was not a body double. Thank you Mr. President. Happy birthday @USNavy”

He went on to respond to several tweets to push back on the conspiracy theory and tweeted jokingly, “S—t. I just found out that I killed Osama bin Johnson. Drinks are on me, I guess…”

Bin Laden was killed in 2011 at his compound in Pakistan during a raid by Navy SEALs ordered by then-President Barack Obama. The decision to conduct the operation was reportedly highly debated by the president’s inner circle with critics arguing that the raid would violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly attacked Democratic rival Joseph R. Biden over the raid and reports that the former vice president did not support the raid. Last month, Mr. Trump suggested that Mr. Biden “opposed the mission to take out Osama Bin Laden.”

“If it were up to Joe, bin Laden and [Iranian General Qassem] Soleimani would still be alive,” he added.

Mr. O’Neill later responded to a tweet touting another conspiracy theory that the Navy SEALs from the bin Laden raid were killed.

“Every SEAL from the [Osama bin Laden] Mission is alive while you are reading this,” he said.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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