The Pentagon says Navy SEALs scooped up laptops, hard drives and cell phones in last month’s Yemen raid, but multiple U.S. officials told NBC News that none of the intelligence gleaned from the operation so far has proven actionable or vital — contrary to what President Trump said in his speech to Congress Tuesday.
In a dramatic moment before a joint session of Congress, Trump introduced Carryn Owens, the widow of Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens, the SEAL who lost his life in the Jan. 29 operation. Tears streamed down the widow’s face as the president praised her husband.
“I just spoke to General (James) Mattis,” Trump said, referring to his defense secretary, “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.'”
No one questions Owens’ heroism and sacrifice. Ten current U.S. officials across the government who have been briefed on the details of the raid told NBC News that so far, no truly significant intelligence has emerged from the haul.