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Trump puts deadly Yemen mission back in the spotlight

There's no denying the emotional weight of the moment in Trump's speech honoring a fallen serviceman and his family, but there's more to this story.
Image: US President Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives iin Washington, U.S.,...
Donald Trump's congressional address featured a deeply emotional moment, when the president honored the wife of a fallen American serviceman killed in Yemen a month earlier. The story behind the story, however, shouldn't be overlooked.

While speaking about the need to increase funding for veterans during his joint address to Congress, Trump took a moment to pay tribute to his guest, the wife of slain Navy SEAL William Owens. Owens was killed in a raid on Yemen on Jan. 25, five days into the new administration."We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William 'Ryan' Owens," Trump said. "Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero -- battling against terrorism and securing our nation." Trump said Owens' "legacy is etched into eternity."

"Well this was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something that was, you know, just, they wanted to do. They came to see me they explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected. My generals are the most respected that we've had in many decades I believe and they lost Ryan."

And as far as the success of the mission is concerned, NBC News reported this week that the mission yielded practically nothing of value.The result is an image of a president who launched a mission without an extensive review, who then tried to shun responsibility for the results while making dubious claims about the raid's value, all before using the deadly incident in a speech.I don't doubt that Trump has extended his sincere support to Owens' family, but that doesn't erase the president's attempts to shirk responsibility for the mission, his claims that appear to be untrue, and the questions as to why he approved this raid in the first place.As Rachel noted during last night's coverage, "That may have been a transcendent moment [in Trump's speech], but it is light-years away from him trying to say, 'This was the generals, this wasn't me, this was Obama's fault,' which is how he has dealt with that death thus far."