In Emotional Moment Of Speech, Trump Addresses Navy SEAL's Widow

Feb 28, 2017
Originally published on March 1, 2017 7:51 am

Barely a month after the death of her husband in a much-criticized U.S. anti-terrorist raid in Yemen, Carryn Owens was one of President Trump's guests in the House gallery for his address to Congress.

Navy SEAL William "Ryan" Owens died in the first such operation approved by the new president.

She wept as Trump spoke directly to her:

"We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William "Ryan" Owens. Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero — battling against terrorism and securing our nation.

"I just spoke to our great Gen. Mattis, just now, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, 'Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.' Ryan's legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you."

The chamber rose in a standing ovation that lasted more than a minute and a half. As it came to an end the president added: "Ryan is looking down right now, you know that, and he's very happy, because I think he just broke a record," referring to the applause.

As NPR has reported, the White House has repeatedly called the raid a success, despite the deaths of Owens and at least 23 civilians, including a small child. The New York Times, in an analysis of the raid, wrote, "Everything that could go wrong did."

Ryan Owens' father, Bill Owens, is calling for an investigation into the raid. The Pentagon says one is normally conducted when an operation results in loss of life.

In an interview with the Miami Herald, Owens said that he had declined to meet with Trump when his son's body arrived at Dover Air Force Base. Trump and his daughter Ivanka were present at what the military calls "dignified transfer" of a service member's remains.

Owens, who acknowledged he did not vote for Trump, said he wants the president to stop "hiding behind [his] son's death."

In an interview with Fox News Tuesday morning, Trump appeared to deny responsibility for the raid.

"This was something that was, you know, just — they wanted to do," Trump said, referring to the military. "And they came to see me and they explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected."

"And they lost Ryan," the president continued.

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