The parents of Kayla Mueller, an aid worker who was killed by the Islamic State in 2015, blamed the Obama administration for her death and said their daughter would still be alive today if Trump had been in charge.
“Our government let us down,” said Carl Mueller, whose daughter endured torture and rape at the hands of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for more than a year before her death.
“Let me just say this: Kayla should be here,” Mueller said. “If Donald Trump had been president when Kayla was captured, she would be here today.”
The Muellers accused the Obama administration of inaction, saying that the former president “refused to meet with us until ISIS had already beheaded other Americans,” and that “to this day, we’ve never heard from Joe Biden.”
The military prepared an operation to rescue Kayla, but Obama’s White House delayed it, Mueller said. By the time it went forward, the terrorists had moved his daughter to a different location, he said. “The administration showed more concern for the terrorists in Guantanamo than for the American hostages in Syria,” Mueller said.
The Obama administration “kept us from negotiating to save Kayla’s life,” leaving the Muellers feeling hopeless, he said.
Obama has said he was “heartbroken” by the news of the aid worker’s death after the unsuccessful rescue mission, but maintained his stance against paying ransom for American hostages, even if it goes against their families’ wishes.
The Trump administration, by contrast, “gave us empathy we never received from the Obama administration,” Mueller said, noting that the U.S. Army special forces operators who killed al-Baghdadi named their unit “Task Force 814” after Kayla’s birthday, and their mission “Operation Kayla Mueller.”
“The Obama administration said it was doing everything it could. The Trump administration actually is,” Mueller said.