The parent’s of Kayla Mueller on Monday laid the blame for their daughter’s death while in Islamic State captivity partially on the Obama administration.
“I really feel that we had a chance to get Kayla out,” her father, Carl, told “The Today Show.”
Her mother, Marsha, blamed the longstanding U.S. policy against paying ransom for hostage citizens and the Obama administration‘s underestimating of ISIS as contributing factors to her daughter’s death.
Host Savannah Guthrie asked Marsha Mueller if she thought the government did everything it could to obtain Kayla’s release.
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“I think they wanted to but I think, again, it’s the policy and I don’t think anyone had any idea this group would be as powerful as they were,” she said. “We’ve let them get too powerful. You know? They just thought of them as a gang or thugs.”
“Jayvee” Kayla’s father added.
Guthrie mentioned the trade of five Taliban prisoners for captive Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
“That made the whole situation worse,” Kayla’s brother, Eric Mueller, responded.
“That’s when the demands got greater. They got larger. They realized that they had something,” he added. “They realized that, ‘Well, if they’re gonna let five people go for one person, why won’t they do this? Or why won’t they do that?’”
Carl Mueller said the trade gave them hope that a similar deal could be made for Kayla.
“I actually asked the president that question when we were in the White House,” Mueller said. “Yeah, that was pretty hard to take.”
“We understand the policy about not paying ransom, but on the other hand, any parents out there would understand that you would want anything and everything done to bring your child home,” he added.
“And we tried, and we asked. But they put policy in front of American citizens’ lives. And it didn’t get changed.”
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