"This was a mission that was started before I got here", Trump said.
"I think President Obama's behind it, because his people are certainly behind it", Trump said. They came to see 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 would - I believe. "And they lost Ryan", President Trump said.
USA military officials told Owens's father his son was killed in the early minutes of the firefight, which also included female al-Qaida combatants.
On the raid, Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, 36, was killed. He also criticized the Trump administration for using his son's death to attack those calling for an investigation.
February 9: "It's absolutely a success, and I think anyone who would suggest it's not a success does disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens".
Spicer took a much different tack Monday, expressing condolences to Owens's family and saying the mission couldn't be called a 100 percent success, given the fact that an American was killed.
Thye decision to approve the mission was not made from the Situation Room or even from the Oval Office, but over a dinner that included Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Defense Secretary Mattis and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Vice President Mike Pence, and the now-former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn.
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He branded the raid a "grand display", pointing out that for the past two years ground forces had not been deployed in Yemen.
While the raid was planned under the Obama administration, Obama refused to green light it, which Trump did after being president less than a week.
Reports have painted a chaotic scene at the raid where al Qaeda may have been tipped to the SEALs' impending arrival.
Just days into his presidency, Donald Trump approved the operation which killed SEAL Ryan Owens on January 29.
NBC News reported Monday, citing unnamed senior USA officials, that the raid had produced no "actionable intelligence". After White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this weekend that Trump would probably back an investigation into the operation, Spicer noted Monday the Defense Department will review it as a matter of standard procedure.
"I know that the mission has a lot of different critics, but it did yield a substantial amount of very important intel and resources that helped save American lives and other lives", Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.
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