Kayla Mueller: Parents of murdered Isis hostage say Trump would have saved her during RNC speech

'The Obama administration said it was doing everything it could. The Trump administration actually is'

Chris Riotta
New York
Friday 28 August 2020 04:57 BST
Parents of ISIS victim Kayla Mueller say Obama administration let them down

The parents of an American who was taken hostage by Isis and later killed declared their support for Donald Trump during a speech on the final night of the Republican National Convention, suggesting the president would have saved their daughter had he been in office at the time of her abduction.

Marsha and Carl Mueller took the stage on Thursday night before the president delivered the headline speech of the week. They told the story of their daughter, Kayla, and how she was captured by Isis in August of 2013 while volunteering to help Syrian refugees in Turkey and Syria.

“My name is Marsha Mueller. This is my husband, Carl. Our daughter, Kayla was taken as a hostage and murdered by Isis,” Ms Mueller said in an emotional speech, at times holding back tears and breathing deeply as she and her husband spoke to the audience. “Kayla was mostly held in a 12’ by 12’ cell in solitary confinement. It was cold and dirty. Isis terrorists shined bright lights in her face. They shaved her head. They beat her and tortured her. The leader of Isis, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, raped her repeatedly.”

The parents went on to condemn former President Barack Obama’s White House administration, saying: “For 18 months she endured. And we endured an agonising back-and-forth between us, the Obama administration, and Isis. We put all our faith in the government. But our government let us down.”

“President Obama refused to meet with us until Isis had already beheaded other Americans,” the parents continued. “To this day, we’ve 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 US has long had a policy of not negotiating with terrorist groups — a policy that continued under the Obama administration as it has under the Trump administration.

But the Mueller family remained adamant in their support for Mr Trump, who they said showed compassion and empathy amid their efforts to recover their daughter’s remains.

“The Trump team gave us empathy we never received from the Obama administration. The Obama administration said it was doing everything it could. The Trump administration actually is,” they said. “Let me just say this: Kayla should be here. If Donald Trump had been President when Kayla was captured, she would be here today.”

The Mueller family was just one of the speeches made on Thursday night as the president officially accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for the White House in his re-election bid. Guest speakers also featured members of the president’s White House administration and family, like senior adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump, as well as Alice Johnson, a grandmother and former prisoner who Mr Trump pardoned.

Kayla Mueller, a human rights activist born in Arizona, was taken captive near a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria. She had been working to assist refugees in southern Turkey.

“All Kayla wanted was to make it home. We are still working to find her and, God willing, we will bring her home,” her parents said. “Eight months into Kayla’s captivity, another hostage was able to smuggle out a letter Kayla had written. As we read it, we could see that God was holding her in His arms. In her words, she ‘felt tenderly cradled in freefall.’”

“Carl and I support Donald Trump because of his commitment to make and keep America great, not with the power of the government, but with the passion of people like Kayla,” Ms Mueller said, “Americans who, even in the darkest days, always have more fight left inside of them. Americans who don’t just talk — they act.”

She concluded: “That was our daughter. That’s President Trump. As long as we stay strong like Kayla, as long as we refuse to break, we will be great.”

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