WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday released three tweets in succession lashing out at fellow Republican John McCain for denying a Yemen raid that killed a U.S. navy officer was a success.
"Sen. McCain should not be talking about the success or failure of a mission to the media. Only emboldens the enemy! He's been losing so long he doesn't know how to win anymore, just look at the mess our country is in - bogged down in conflict all over the place," Trump said.
"Our hero Ryan died on a winning mission (according to General Mattis), not a 'failure.' Time for the U.S. to get smart and start winning again!" he added.
The strong words were directed at McCain's previous remarks on the deadly mission, saying he "would not describe any operation that results in the loss of American life as a success."
U.S. Navy's "Sea, Air, and Land" (SEAL) Team officer William "Ryan" Owens died during a raid on Al-Qaida in Yemen on Jan. 29, which killed around 10 Al-Qaida militants and at least 25 civilians.
The incident marked the first combat death of a U.S. soldier under Trump's presidency.
Lindsay Graham, another Republican heavyweight in the Senate and a close ally of McCain, advised Trump not to antagonize McCain. "I don't think President Trump will have a better ally in the United States Congress when it comes to rebuilding the military than John McCain."
McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona, who ran for the presidency in 2008 against Barack Obama, is now the chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.
Less than three weeks into Trump's presidency, the relationship between the president and establishment Republicans are already under strains.
Trump and members of his inner circle on multiple occasions put Congress Republicans in an awkward position with their controversial remarks or actions, such as the attacks Trump has launched against U.S. federal courts.