President Donald Trump honored the widow of fallen Navy SEAL Ryan Owens Tuesday during his joint address to Congress.
Seated next to First Daughter Ivanka, Carryn Owens fought back tears as the president said,“we are blessed to be joined by Carryn Owens, widow of US Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William ‘Ryan’ Owens.”
Trump said he spoke withSecretary of DefenseJames Mattis who assured him Owens, who lost his life during a Jan. 29 raid in Yemen, did not die in vein.
"Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies," Trump said, leading into a prolonged standing ovation where Carryn started to break down.
Trump's comments come on the heels of news reports claiming the contrary andconflicts comments made earlier this month by Sen. John McCain that any raid which suffers a loss of human life and a $70 million dollar helicopter cannot be deemed a success.
“While many of the objectives of the recent raid in Yemen were met, I would not describe any operation that results in the loss of American life as a success,” McCain said in a statement to Bloomberg earlier this month.
Ryan Owens died during a raid in Yemen on Jan. 29.
Owens' father, Bob Owens, has himself been highly critical of Trump and refused to meet with the president earlier this week when the family went to recieve the remains.
Earlier in the day Trump appeared to blame Owen's loss of life on the military and the Obama Administration.
“This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do,” he said. “They came to 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," he said during an interview with Fox & Friends.
THEY lost Ryan Owens?— Danielle Shaw (@deeshaw) February 28, 2017
No, YOU lost SEAL William "Ryan" Owens in the botched Yemen raid. pic.twitter.com/1VibrvfkaV
The reaction on social media was mixed.
One user condemned the one-minute 40-second standing ovation as an exploitation of a widow's grief, while others praised the "emotional" moment.
I'm still troubled by Trump's exploitation of the death of Ryan Owens. Especially when family members of US soldiers can be deported.— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) March 1, 2017