Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FACT CHECK; Did Democrats Ignore Navy SEAL's Widow?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FACT CHECK; Did Democrats Ignore Navy SEAL's Widow?

Article excerpt

Byline: Carole Fader

Times-Union readers want to know:

My friend sent an email stating that during President Donald Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress, top Democrats refused to stand during an ovation for a Navy SEAL's widow. Is that accurate?

There were two ovations for Carryn Owens, the widow of Navy SEAL William "Ryan" Owens, who was killed in a counterterrorism raid in Yemen on Jan. 28.

Video shows that Democratic leaders stood for both. But, points out that the Democrats did not remain standing as long as Republicans.

The Feb. 28 video shows that Republican and Democratic members of Congress stood and applauded as Trump acknowledged Owens and his widow, who was seated in the balcony as a guest of the president and first lady.

After about 25 seconds of applause, everyone sits down and Trump continues with his speech.

He says: "I just spoke to our great Gen. [James] Mattis just now who reconfirmed that, and I quote, aeRyan 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 enemy.' Ryan's legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you."

At that point (49:50 in the video), members again stand and applaud. You can see the video at

But the camera focuses on Owens, who is standing, clapping and crying, and remains on her feet for more than 30 seconds.

When the camera turns back on members of Congress around 50:25, most Republicans and Democrats are standing, but a few Democrats are sitting, including Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the new deputy DNC chairman.

Wasserman Schultz and Ellison are seated together.

That led some to claim that Wasserman Schultz and Ellison didn't stand and acknowledge Owens, which is not true. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.