Appearing on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning, the father of fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum explained to host Brian Kilmeade why he avoided a meeting with President Joe Biden over the weekend.
McCollum’s father, Jim, and his daughters were in Dover, Delaware, to receive the body of his slain son, one of the 13 servicemen killed in a terrorist attack at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan last week.
When President Biden walked into the room where the ceremony was being held, Mr. McCollum walked out.
“I had no desire to meet with the president,” McCollum said. “Everything he’s done [with the withdrawal from Afghanistan], every step along the way has been absolutely backwards.”
“A high school kid could make better decisions than they’ve made in this,” he said.
Originally it was reported that only the late Marine’s wife had stayed in the room to meet with Biden but McCollum’s sister, Cheyenne McCollum, also stuck around briefly.
“I chose to stay with my brother’s wife,” Cheyenne said. “She wanted the chance to look him in the eye and see if it was going to be a sincere conversation or apology. And I was able to stand about 15 seconds of his fake, scripted apology and I had to walk out.”
She said Biden wouldn’t at look her or at McCollum’s wife in the eye. Instead, she said, he looked down and showed no sympathy.
“It was more about his son,” Mr. McCollum said. “My son wasn’t mentioned. It was his son and about him.”
Mr. McCollum’s ex-wife, who lives in Montrose, Colorado, was much more caustic in her remarks about President Biden, telling interviewers that he was a “dementia-ridden piece of crap.”
Between sobs, she told talk show host Andrew Wilkow that her son “died in vain.”
“This was as unnecessary debacle which could have been handled properly,” she said.
The McCollum family was welcomed back to Jackson, Wyoming, on Monday afternoon by hundreds of well-wishers who lined Broadway Avenue in Jackson to watch the emotional motorcade.
“Welcome home to a hero’s family,” U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis said on Twitter. “My heart hurts for your family. My prayers join the chorus. I don’t have the right words so just thank you from me, Wyoming, and from an eternally grateful nation.”