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Carl and Marsha Mueller, whose daughter was killed by ISIS during the Obama administration, delivered a powerful message at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night comparing the response the family received from the two administrations.
“Our daughter Kayla was taken as a hostage and murdered by ISIS. From a young age, Kayla was amazing,” Marsha Mueller said. “She taught herself languages, how to write music, how to play guitar. She worked with troubled youth, military veterans, and Native Americans. Everywhere Kayla went, people smiled. Kayla had a gift to be able to see the world through someone else’s eyes. She became a humanitarian aid worker, and when she was helping children at an orphanage in India, Kayla wrote, ‘I find God in the suffering eyes reflected in mine. If this is how you are revealed to me, this is how I will forever seek you.’”
“She went to Turkey to help Syrian refugees in 2012. In August 2013, she was asked by another aid worker to cross the border into Syria to help at a hospital,” Marsha Mueller continued. “On August 4, 2013, ISIS terrorists stopped her vehicle and took her captive.”
“Kayla was mostly held in a 12 x 12 cell in solitary confinement. It was cold and dirty. ISIS terrorists shined bright lights in her face,” Carl Mueller said. “They shaved her head, they beat her, and tortured her. The leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, raped her repeatedly. For 18 months, she endured, and we endured in agonizing back-and-forth between us, the Obama administration, and ISIS.”
“We put all our faith in the government, but the government let us down. President Obama refused to meet with us until ISIS had already beheaded other Americans,” Carl Mueller continued. “To this day, we never heard from Joe Biden. Instead, the Obama administration hid behind policy so much that we felt hopeless when they kept us from negotiating to save Kayla’s life. The administration showed more concern for the terrorists in Guantanamo than the American hostages in Syria.”
“The military prepared a rescue mission, but the White House delayed it,” Carl Mueller continued. “By the time it went forward, Kayla had been moved to another location. After 18 months of brutal torture, we learned from ISIS that Kayla had been killed. The Obama administration kept telling us they were doing everything they could, but their version of everything wasn’t enough.”
“What a difference a president makes,” Carl Mueller continued. “Under President Trump, U.S. Army special operators conducted a raid on al-Baghdadi’s compound. After we learned that al-Baghdadi was killed, we learned something else: the operators named themselves Task Force 814, after August 14, Kayla’s birthday. And the mission was named Operation Kayla Mueller. To those soldiers, thank you. Kayla was looking down on you.”
“The Trump team gave us empathy we never received from the Obama administration,” he said. “The Obama administration said it was doing everything it could; the Trump administration is. Let me just say this—Kayla should be here. If Donald Trump had been president when Kayla was captured, she would be here today.”
"God gave us Kayla, and she gave herself to the world."
In heartbreaking testimonial, parents of Kayla Mueller, humanitarian worker captured and killed by ISIS, honor their daughter, praise Pres. Trump, and call on Americans to "stay strong like Kayla." https://t.co/EyJzJDolZ4 pic.twitter.com/WcxGfb4PrR
— ABC News (@ABC) August 28, 2020
This story has been updated to include quotes from the speech.