Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke said he watched President Trump transform right before his eyes.
“I was with the president when Chief Owens came home to Dover. What I saw was a changed commander in chief,” he said.
Zinke accompanied Trump to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in February, where the bodies of slain Americans return from foreign battlefields. Zinke and Trump had gone to observe the return of Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, a Navy SEAL killed in Yemen.
The moment marked the first time the 45th president witnessed the real human toll of a presidential decision to send troops into combat. Owens was the first combat casualty of the Trump era.
In a recent Oval Office interview with the Washington Examiner, the president described the moment of Owens’ return as both sad and beautiful: “It was very tough. That is the toughest part of the job. You are dealing with lives. And it is tough every time I call somebody.”
Zinke said that was the moment he saw Trump visibly change.
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