Yochi Dreazen writes: The simmering controversy over the raid flared up again on Tuesday when Trump broke with decades of presidential precedent and blamed the military for the failed operation — and for Owens’s death — rather than taking responsibility himself.
“This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do,” Trump 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.”
As Phillip Carter wrote for Vox, most presidents of both parties have stepped up and accepted blame for failed military operations, regardless of whether they were their fault. Trump, Carter wrote, took a very different path:
Still, Trump’s blunt refusal to accept personal responsibility for the Yemen raid burns because it marks such an incredible betrayal of his office and the awesome responsibility that our president must shoulder, especially in the national security sphere. A president who passes the buck is not one we can trust to lead our military or keep us safe.
The president’s decision to lavish so much attention on Carryn Owens, meanwhile, sparked a torrent of angry responses on Twitter, with critics arguing that he was trying to use her grief for political gain. [Continue reading…]