President Donald Trump blamed Barack Obama for last month's raid in which a Navy SEAL died, even though it was Trump who gave the order to carry out the raid.
President Donald Trump suggested in an interview broadcast on Tuesday that former President Barack Obama was, in part, at fault for last month's raid in Yemen that resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL, even though it was Trump who gave the order to carry out the raid.
In an interview with "Fox & Friends" that aired Tuesday, Trump was asked how he felt that William Owens — whose son William "Ryan" Owens was killed in the raid in Yemen — didn't want to meet with Trump out of indignation because of the raid's botched execution.
"This was a mission that was started before I got here," Trump said. "This was something they wanted to do. They came to see me, they told me what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected — my generals are most respected we've had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan."
The president acknowledged that Owens was upset about the loss of his son but passed the buck to his predecessor.
"I can understand people saying that," Trump said. "What's worse? There's nothing worse. But again, this was something that they were looking at for a long time."
The president has been criticized for hastily green-lighting the raid, which NBC News on Monday reported had not seemed to yield significant intelligence. Though Obama administration officials planned the raid, Obama passed the decision along to his successor to decide whether to execute it.
In an interview with the Miami Herald, Owens' father slammed Trump, demanding an inquiry into the raid's planning.
"Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn't even barely a week into his administration?" Owens said. "Why? For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen — everything was missiles and drones — because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?"
Though Trump told Fox News that the first several weeks of his presidency deserved an "A" grading, he blamed the previous administration for several of the White House's current woes.
In the interview, Trump said Obama was responsible for the surge in anti-Trump participation by constituents at congressional GOP town-hall-style meetings. The president also said information leaks from within the federal government were the result of remaining Obama administration officials attempting to negatively depict the new White House.