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In searing new ad, father of Navy SEAL killed in Yemen accuses Trump of 'playing big man going to war'

 ·  Catherine Garcia, The Week   ·   Link to Article

A Gold Star father whose son was the first U.S. service member to die in combat under the Trump administration is urging people not to vote for President Trump this November, saying he cannot be trusted "with your kid's life or your own."

Bill Owens' son, Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, was killed in January 2017, just days after Trump's inauguration. A 36-year-old married father of three, he was shot by al Qaeda militants during a raid in Yemen, a mission that later came under intense scrutiny.

In an ad for VoteVets released Thursday, Owens said Trump didn't order this raid "in the Situation Room with all the intelligence assembled, but sitting across a dinner table from Steve Bannon. There was no vital interest at play, just Donald Trump playing big man going to war." Since his son's death, Trump has "assailed our country's core values," Owens said, before accusing Trump of kneecapping the U.S. Postal Service to undermine voting and defending Russian President Vladimir Putin amid reports Russia put bounties on the heads of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Now, at least 180,000 people have died of coronavirus in the U.S., and Owens said that "200,000 Americans will have died before we vote. They and Ryan have one thing in common — it didn't have to be, but for Donald Trump. If you hear one thing, let it be this: Don't trust Donald Trump with your kid's life or your own."