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President Donald Trump follows his daughter Ivanka to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump follows his daughter Ivanka to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The dad of a SEAL killed in a Yemen raid wants an investigation into the 'stupid mission'


UPDATE Feb. 27 7:09 a.m.:

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Trump would be likely to support an investigation into the death of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens. 

"I would imagine that he would be supportive of that," Sanders said during an interview on ABC News' "This Week" on Sunday. 

Owens' father Bill demanded an investigation, saying the "stupid mission" that led to his son's death, an intelligence raid in Yemen, was ill-prepared. 


Bill Owens' son Ryan was killed in a raid in Yemen Jan. 28, marking the first combat death under President Trump.

Bill believes his son didn't have to die. And he wants answers. 

The raid was originally supposed to be quick, letting troops grab phones, laptops and information about terrorists. When it was over, Owens and as many as 29 civilians were dead. Bill said Ryan was shot and killed early in the fight, the Miami Herald reports.

Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission ... all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?
Bill Owens

Bill, a veteran himself, said that no raid in Yemen had involved boots on the ground before the raid that killed his son. 

The White House did not directly address Bill's comments, but said the Department of Defense regularly investigates missions that lead to loss of life.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called the mission a failure. Trump fired back.

Trump marine one.jpg
Marine One, with President Donald Trump, lands at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Trump traveled to Dover AFB to meet with family members Chief of Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Ownes, 36, of Peoria, Ill, the U.S. service member who was killed in a raid in Yemen, and who's remains where returned today. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump made an unannounced trip in February to attend the arrival of Ryan Owens' remains. 

Bill, a resident of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida,  refused to meet Trump when he came to receive the casket carrying Ryan's remains.

"Don't hide behind my son's death to prevent an investigation," he said.  

Bill was not allowed to know most of what Ryan did in combat with SEAL Team 6, but he knows his 37-year-old son was well-decorated, earning a Silver Star, Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Background on the raid

The raid was originally planned under the Obama administration, but it was postponed as officials decided to wait until a moonless night, which wouldn't happen until after Trump's inauguration. Trump was briefed on the plan Jan. 25 and signed off on its execution on Jan. 26.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the raid was "very, very well thought-out and executed effort" in a press conference on Feb. 2. 

Nobody knows the truth of what happened except the person on the ground. When politicians get it, they warp it far from the truth.
Don Mann, Navy SEAL veteran

But some military experts disagreed with Spicer's assessment. They said Trump wasn't in the Situation Room, where he could monitor developments in real time. Spicer responded by saying that presidents are not in the room for every counter-terrorism operation. 

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