The president of the United States may be the most powerful man in the world, but he may have met his match in the determined mother of a U.S. Marine killed last year in Afghanistan.
While Trump seemingly tries to avoid a confrontation with Vladimir Putin over the suspected Russian offer to the Taliban for killing American troops, he faces a demand from Felicia Arculeo to do or say something.
Arculeo’s son, Cpl. Robert Hendriks, died with two other Marines in a car bombing near Bagram Air Base.
She told CNBC “that the parties who are responsible should be held accountable, if that’s even possible.”
Cpl. Hendriks, who was 25, and the two other Marines — Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, 43, and Sgt. Benjamin Hines, 31 — were killed in April 2019, just days before they were due to return home.
U.S. intelligence is investigating whether the car bombing was linked to a Russian bounty offer, the Associated Press reports, adding on Tuesday that top White House officials knew before the attack that Russia was suspected of offering such bounties — and put it in a written briefing for Trump.
Dissatisfaction with the Trump Administration’s handling of the bounty report is spreading among military families.
“Another mom, Shawn Gregoire, whose Army paratrooper son Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance was killed last July in a so-called insider attack by an Afghan soldier … said she and other parents of killed soldiers should have been notified of the intelligence about the bounties,” CNBC says.
Arculeo says any possible link of the attack that killed her son to Russian bounties “should continue to be probed despite the White House’s claim that the intelligence about the bounties is not verified.”
“Absolutely, that should be investigated,” she told CNBC.
But she admitted that it’s a “tough question” what should be done if it turns out her son was targeted for a Russian bounty.
“At the end of the day, my son is still gone. He’s still not coming home,” she said.