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Prop or not? Why presidents single people out




President Donald J. Trump and the entire chamber applaud toward Carryn Owens, widow of Navy Seal Ryan Owens, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, during his address to a joint session of Congress. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP)
President Donald J. Trump and the entire chamber applaud toward Carryn Owens, widow of Navy Seal Ryan Owens, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, during his address to a joint session of Congress. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP)
Jim Lo Scalzo/AP

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It was one of the most memorable moments of the night Tuesday: President Trump in his first speech before Congress turned the spotlight on Chief Petty Officer, Ryan Owens and the wife he left behind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_3FR6FrTEk

Owens died during a raid in Yemen at the end of January. The circumstances aren't clear. 

The two-minute standing ovation for the fallen Navy Seal was a touching moment to some, but less so to others. 

Reaction from veterans online was swift: several condemned the display, saying Trump exploited Carryn Owens' grief. Then came the TV commentary:

Presidents often point out persons of note in front of Congress. Sometimes their motives are clear, other times opaque.
 
So why do it? For answers, Take Two turned to Barbara Perry, director of Presidential Studies at the University of Virginia's Miller Center.
 

Click on the blue bar above to listen to the entire interview.