The media briefly freaked out yesterday—after President Donald Trump made an “unannounced trip” without disclosing his destination to the White House press pool.
According to an official statement by the White House, Trump even gave the stunned press pool “a brief wave” as he walked towards Marine One, his awaiting helicopter, with his daughter, Ivanka.
Trump just got on Marine One and flew off to a destination that the White House has declared off the record.
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) February 1, 2017
The White House says Trump’s destination is off the record. And no, this is not normal. https://t.co/jD3Seym9zs
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) February 1, 2017
— Jeff Lewis (@ChicagoPhotoSho) February 1, 2017
However, the White House later released another statement—explaining that Trump was en route to Delaware, to visit the family of slain Navy SEAL, Ryan Owens:
“POTUS is arriving shortly or has already arrived in Marine One at Dover Air Force Base for arrival of remains of a US commando killed early Sunday in Yemen during a raid on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Pentagon has identified the deceased as Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, 36, of Peoria, Ill. Multiple news outlets have said Owens was a member of SEAL Team 6. The death occurred during the first counter-terrorism operation of the Trump presidency.
Sen. Chris Coons (D) of Delaware is accompanying POTUS on the visit to Dover AFB.”
President Trump and Ivanka Trump were on hand to observe the “dignified transfer” ceremony—the official transfer of a fallen service-member’s remains from military custody to his family.