President Donald Trump on Tuesday touted his call for a massive hike in military spending and defended a heavily criticized special forces strike that killed a Navy SEAL in Yemen.
Carryn Owens, the widow of William "Ryan" Owens, who died in the mission, attended Trump's first speech to a joint session of Congress.
"Our veterans have delivered for this nation, and now we must deliver for them ... I just spoke to [Defense Secretary James] Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, 'Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.' Ryan's legacy is etched into eternity," Trump said, prompting a standing ovation for a crying Carryn Owens.
Trump then said that Ryan Owens is "looking down" and "very happy" because "I think he just broke a record" for applause.
Last week, Ryan Owens' father pointedly questioned Trump's decision to approve the "stupid" mission.
"Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn't even barely a week into his administration?" Bill Owens asked in an interview with the Miami Herald. "For two years prior ... everything was missiles and drones ... Now all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?"
The White House had said the strike, which also killed a number of children and low-ranking al-Qaeda affiliates, produced "actionable intelligence."
Senior officials, though, told NBC News that they were unaware of any such intelligence that came out of the mission.
Trump ordered the mission only six days into his presidency.