- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 23, 2017

Retired Navy Adm. William McRaven sees President Trump’s recent comments about CNN, NBC and other news outlets as perhaps “the greatest threat to democracy” in his lifetime.

The former head of Special Operations Command is worried that rhetoric by the commander in chief and his supporters regarding the press poses an existential threat to civil society. Adm. McRaven, who now serves as University of Texas system chancellor, told members of the communications college that any attempts to frame the media as an “enemy” must be resisted.

“We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people,” the former Navy SEAL said Tuesday night, The Daily Texan reported. “This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.”

The retired admiral’s remarks came just days after Mr. Trump excoriated the media for its coverage of leaks related to the resignation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Mr. Trump tweeted Feb. 17.

“To be a good leader you have to be a good communicator,” Adm. McRaven added Tuesday. “As a leader you have to communicate your intent every chance you get and if you fail to do that, you will pay the consequences.”

SEE ALSO: Chuck Todd: Donald Trump’s criticism of media ‘un-American’

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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