Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore on Tuesday blasted President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress, particularly for bringing the grieving widow of the fallen Navy SEAL during a failed raid in Yemen.
Moore slammed the President saying that he “used” the Carryn Owens, the widow of Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, as an “f-you’ to those criticizing the raid on an al Queda base in Yemen. The raid was meant to target an Al Qaeda leader, but instead resulted in the death of Owens and dozens of civilians, including women and children.
During Trump’s speech, he referred to Owens by name resulting in a long standing ovation for Mrs. Owens as the audience and cameras captured her fighting back tears over the death of her husband just a month ago.
Moore accused Trump of inviting Owens as a prop to deflect criticism of the mission. “That’s why she’s there, as a sort of an ‘f-you’ to the people who are criticizing him for this,” Moore told MSNBC host Chris Matthews after Trump’s speech. “And this poor woman, this widow who has lost her husband, she is in desperate grief right now.”
“To use that to put another notch on his belt … and what is he thinking about? ‘My ratings. Record applause. I’m going to get an Emmy for this! Most applause for a dead soldier on my watch!'”
“This is the sickness of this man,” Moore added.
Owens was killed on January 29, days after Trump took the oath of office, in the special forces raid. He is the first U.S. serviceman lost in combat during Trump’s presidency. Additionally, more than 20 civilians, including children, lost their lives, along with 14 Al Qaeda militants.
Trump and his aides have repeatedly called the mission a success because of purported intelligence gathered in the raid. Most recently, on Tuesday, as Owens’ father criticized the mission and called for an investigation, Trump attempted to shun blame for Owens’ death by claiming that the generals, saying “they lost” Owens.