Vice President Mike Pence says hesitation on behalf of the Obama administration is to blame for the death of a humanitarian worker killed and abused by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Watch the moment from the debate in the player above.
Relatives of Kayla Mueller were among Pence’s guests at Wednesday night’s debate with California Sen. Kamala Harris in Salt Lake City.
During the debate, Pence said that, when Joe Biden was vice president, the Obama administration “hesitated” in moving on al-Baghdadi, and when forces finally went in, Mueller had been moved to another location.
Mueller was kidnapped and held for 18 months before her death was announced in early 2015.
Pence said Mueller’s family believes that, if President Donald Trump had been in office, “Kayla would be alive today.” Al-Baghdadi was killed during a special forces raid in Syria in 2019.
Speaking to Mueller’s family, Harris said, “What happened to her was awful and it should have never happened.”