The widow of the "American Sniper" Chris Kyle is speaking out against critics like Michael Moore who say Carynn Owens let President Trump take advantage of her grief for his political advantage. She made the comments to Martha MacCallum on Fox News Wednesday.
"Very powerful for everybody in the room and for everybody watching," MacCallum said, describing the video of Trump praising Carynn Owens. "Most people lauded the president's tribute there, there were some critics though, including documentary filmmaker Michael Moore who blasted that moment."
MacCallum played video of Michael Moore criticizing the tribute while angrily denouncing Trump.
She's there as a sort of "eff you" to the people who are criticizing him for this. This poor woman, this widow, who has lost her husband, she is in desperate grief right now, and in love with her husband. And to use that as, just put another notch on his belt. And what's he thinking about? My ratings. Record applause. I'm gonna get an Emmy for this, most applause for a dead soldier, on my watch. I mean, the sickness of this man.
Taya Kyle responded to Moore by describing how she felt when she saw Trump's tribute.
"Y'know just listening to those clips I have this myriad of emotions going through me," she began. "I can tell you that when I hear the applause and when I hear the words being spoken about Ryan [Owens], I'm not thinking about politics in the slightest. What I'm thinking is my heart is pounding and I have chills because it's truth."
Because this is a silent professional and his intensely private family who gave everything. They never wanted recognition. And if somebody now that he's gone wants to get up and thank him for his sacrifice, for his service, to tell the world his name, to tell the world he's out there serving, then God bless them.
And for his beautiful wife to get up there, she's so private. For her to get up there and say, I'm gonna do this because I love my husband, and because he's worthy of this praise, he deserves this recognition, and for once, he doesn't have to the silent person.
For her to stand up and to receive that for him is beautiful.
"Y'know you ask me my feelings about what Michael Moore said," she continued, "it makes me sick to my stomach, it makes me angry, because he's saying two things when he says that to me. He's saying, A, she's a fool, and doesn't know she's being used, and that's ridiculous it couldn't be farther from the truth. And it's also saying that this wasn't warranted, and that in some way this always has to be political."
I get the idea that it would be nice to say that everything is a political ploy. It totally negates, though, the meaning behind this and the meaning of it for all the people watching who cried with her, is that some valiant people are out there fighting not for Republicans, not for Democrats, they're fighting for this country and God bless them for doing it.
"It struck me so strongly," MacCallum added, "and you share so much with Carynn, so you understand how she feels having lost your husband as well. But when he said, 'this poor woman,' I thought to myself, 'there's nothing poor about her,' she's incredibly strong, and she's standing up there, you can see her breathing through, just trying not to cry."
And taking in that moment for him, for her husband, and for him for Michael Moore to judge her and basically suggest that she didn't understand that she's a pawn in this game, I just, I find it so reprehensible. What would you say to Carynn about that, what would you say to her?
"I just feel like I know her already," Kyle responded. "Y'know we have a lot of friends in common and I understand that intensely private feeling, and I understand taking that courage to get out and say, 'you know what, this is not about me and it's not about my need for privacy what this is about is my husband,' who she's always gonna love."
You can see her looking up to the sky, I can't tell you how much I can relate to that, because she's looking for him. She's saying, "this is not about me, babe, this is about you, and I am proud of you and you deserve recognition even though you never wanted it." I get what she's saying and I could not agree with you more and I think that a lot of people at home watching feel the same way.
"That he's a hero and she is strong," she concluded. "She is anything but a 'poor woman' or a 'poor widow' she has more strength in her little finger than most people would have in their lifetime. She's lived a life where she's had to be strong, and this is another step in her journey of being stronger than she wants to be."
The extraordinary moment from President Trump's address to a joint session of Congress where he thanked Carynn Owens for the sacrifice by her Navy SEAL husband was almost universally praised as incredibly touching and poignant.
But some have noted that Trump used the occasion to beat back critics of the Yemen raid he ordered just days after the travel ban on seven countries, including Yemen. Even Owens' father has demanded an investigation into the matter to assess if it was politically motivated.