Published: Wed, March 01, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Trump shirks responsibility for death of Navy SEAL in Yemen raid

Trump shirks responsibility for death of Navy SEAL in Yemen raid

The president was asked for his reaction in a Fox News interview that aired this morning, and Trump responded by effectively saying the mission he ordered wasn't his idea.

"According to [Defense Secretary] General [James] Mattis, it was a very successful mission", Trump said.

Facing criticism after the military disclosed that the raid left civilians dead in addition to Owens, the White House has repeatedly stated that the mission had been approved by the Obama administration. But that no longer appears to be the White House's standard, after Spicer scaled back his comments Monday in the face of pleas from Bill Owens, the father of Ryan Owens, the SEAL who lost his life in the raid. Trump, Russia, And Malaysia Airlines MH17 Shootdown: New Suspect Has Putin LinkDonald Trump, Russia, And Rosneft: Vladimir Putin Oil Mystery - Shares Sold To Mystery Buyer Once Offered As Trump BribeLowest Presidential Approval Ratings: Trump Beats Past Presidents To The BottomWho Did Trump Ban From His Press Conference? As Rachel noted on the show last week, Team Trump has maintained in recent weeks that it was the Obama administration that approved the mission at a meeting of the National Security Council on January 6, even if it was carried out soon after Trump took office.

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The mission saw the first military member killed under Trump's watch and also resulted in the death of an 8-year old American citizen, the daughter of Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki who was killed in a raid five years ago, and at least 14 civilians, including nine children. The elder Owens, a military veteran himself, told the Miami Herald he has questions for the Trump administration. Reports from NBC suggest that Pentagon officials and the Defense Department have differing views on whether the information obtained from the raid was of any real significance. He is right to demand an investigation into the stupid raid in which his son was killed.

Another former Seal Team 6 member told The New York Times the SEALs "kind of knew they were screwed from the beginning". "I'd feel ― 'What's worse?' There's nothing worse", he added. The president concluded that it was "a very successful mission", which produced "tremendous amounts of information".

Spicer took a much different tack Monday, expressing condolences to Owens's family and saying the mission couldn't be called a 100 percent success, given the fact that an American was killed. The mission was designed as an intelligence-gathering mission on the terror group, but Owens' death led Sen. On the contrary, officials expected the new administration to begin its own deliberate process to evaluate whether the operation should go ahead.

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