Carl and Marsha Mueller – the parents of aid worker Kayla Mueller, who allegedly died in 2015 after being kidnapped by ISIS – argued their daughter could still be alive had the Obama administration been tougher , in their speech on the fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention.
“Let me say this: Kayla should be here. If Donald Trump had been president when Kayla was captured, she would be here today, ”said Carl Mueller in a moving speech Thursday night.
Mueller, 26, was an aid worker from Prescott, Ariz. Who was abducted by Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham fighters with her boyfriend in 2013, after leaving a Doctors hospital without borders in Aleppo, Syria.
“Kayla had the gift of being able to see the world through someone else’s eyes,” Marsha Mueller said Thursday night. “She became a humanitarian worker and when she was helping children in an orphanage in India, Kayla wrote: ‘I find God in the aching eyes reflected in mine, if this is how you are revealed to me, it is. this is how I will seek you forever.
THE PARENTS OF KAYLA MUELLER PRAISE TRUMP, SOLDIERS FOR THE RAID THAT KILLED AL-BAGHDADI
Mueller was held prisoner by ISIS leader and founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who allegedly sexually assaulted and tortured her for 18 months, before blowing himself up in October 2019 as U.S. special forces attacked her. complex.
“Kayla was primarily held in a 12 foot by 12 foot cell in solitary confinement,” said Carl Mueller. “It was cold and dirty. ISIS terrorists lit his face. They shaved his head. They beat and tortured her. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raped her repeatedly.
He and his wife trusted the government, he said.
“For 18 months she endured. And we have undergone an agonizing back and forth between us, the Obama administration and ISIS, ”he added.
Activists have claimed Mueller was killed in a Jordanian airstrike in 2015, initially reported by The New York Times, although her body was never discovered.
Mueller’s parents believe she could have come home if President Obama had been as “decisive” as President Trump, as they explained in an October interview with The Arizona Republic.
“President Obama refused to meet with us until ISIS has already beheaded other Americans. To this day, we’ve never heard of Joe Biden, ”Carl Mueller said Thursday night. “Instead, the Obama administration hid behind the politics so much that we felt desperate when they stopped us from negotiating to save Kayla’s life.
The Obama administration has been criticized for the failure of a rescue mission to bring home four American prisoners held in a makeshift prison in 2015.
RNC SPEAKERS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CARL AND MARSHA MUELLER
US special forces arrived too late, finding evidence that the prisoners had been held there, but were moved. Three of the prisoners were eventually beheaded on camera by the militant group, and Mueller, the only woman, was later killed, according to the Washington Post.
Family members and critics said the administration had moved too slowly to “green light” the rescue mission.
Obama later said it was incorrect to say that the United States had not undertaken the mission as quickly as possible.
“Under President Trump’s leadership, US military special operators raided al-Baghdadi compound,” said Carl Mueller.
“After learning that al-Baghdadi was killed, we learned something else: the operators named themselves ‘Task Force 814’ after August 14, Kayla’s birthday,” said Carl Mueller. “And they called the mission Operation Kayla Mueller. To these soldiers: Thank you. Kayla looked down on you. ”
He was sure his daughter would be alive today if Obama hadn’t been president.
“If Donald Trump had been president when Kayla was captured, she would be here today,” the father said.
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Kayla Mueller’s mother ended her speech with a heartfelt message, addressing the strength of Americans.
“Carl and I support Donald Trump because of his commitment to making and keeping America great, not with the power of government, but with the passion of people like Kayla – Americans who even in the darkest days , always have more fighting inside. “Americans who don’t just talk, they act. ”
Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.