The father of a U.S. Navy Seal killed in the Yemen raid in late January refused to meet President Donald Trump during the transfer of his coffin to the U.S., the Miami Herald reports.
Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens’s coffin arrived at Dover Air Force base Feb 1. Trump made an unannounced trip to the arrival ceremony with his daughter Ivanka. “I’m sorry, I don’t want to see him,’’ Owens’s father Bill reportedly told the military chaplain accompanying him when he heard Trump was coming to the ceremony. He continued, “I told them I didn’t want to make a scene about it, but my conscience wouldn’t let me talk to him.”
Owen’s father also questioned the efficacy of ordering a military raid so early in Trump’s presidency, and indicated he thought the new administration was trying to make a “grand display” targeting terrorists. “I want an investigation … The government owes my son an investigation,” he declared.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted to reporters that the raid was a “huge success,” despite losing Owens, because of the intelligence gathered at the site. Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis also told reporters at the time that the raid will “gain a deeper insight into the group’s planning to help prevent terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in the United States.”
Circumstances surrounding the raid remain murky, with one senior defense official telling NBCNews after the raid that “nearly everything went wrong.” Another former Seal Team 6 member told The New York Times the SEALs “kind of knew they were screwed from the beginning.” When the SEALs arrived they were engaged in a nearly 50-minute firefight, which killed one U.S. service member and injured six others. U.S. military officials told Owens’s father his son was killed in the early minutes of the firefight, which also included female al-Qaida combatants.
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