If Obama Had Said What Trump Just Said, the GOP Would Have Impeached Him


Appearing on Fox & Friends Tuesday, President Trump appeared to put the blame for Navy SEAL William Ryan Owens’ death in a raid in Yemen a few weeks ago squarely on the shoulders of the military.

“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.”

Imagine if Obama had said this about a soldier’s death; the GOP would have impeached him.

To be fair, the transcript of the “they lost Ryan” moment reads worse than the video plays.

It seems to me, saying “they lost Ryan” basically means “the mission went south,” and Trump is just a super clumsy speaker.

But the other part of his statement, where Trump says it is something “they” wanted to do and that it had been in planning since before his inauguration, is completely indefensible since he is the president, and in fact he agreed to do the mission.

Trump went on to say;

“I can understand people saying that. I’d feel ? ‘What’s worse?’ There’s nothing worse. This was something that they were looking at for a long time doing, and according to [Defense Secretary Jim] Mattis it was a very successful mission. They got tremendous amounts of information.”

According to NBC News, the mission produced no significant intelligence gains.

 

 

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  • Ben Dreyfuss is Mother Jones' editorial director for growth and strategy. He's done some other stuff, too. You can email him at bdreyfuss@motherjones.com. But you don't have to. But you can. But you really don't have to.