Politics

Trump Meets With Family of Slain Fort Hood Soldier Vanessa Guillen, Offers to Pay for Funeral

President Donald Trump on Thursday met with the family of slain Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen and offered to pay for her funeral, as well as promising a rigorous investigation into her death at the U.S. Army post.

Guillen, 20, was last seen in April in the parking lot of Fort Hoods Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters, in Killeen, Texas, on April 22. Her remains were found on June 30.

Aaron Robinson, 20, is suspected to have attacked and killed Guillen, and contacted his girlfriend to help dispose of Guillens body. He died by suicide by shooting himself after officers tried to make contact.

Trump invited Guillens family to the White House. Speaking to the family and reporters in the Oval office on Thursday, Trump said that he was impacted by the situation, which he described as “very horrific.”

“I saw what happened to your daughter, Vanessa, who was a spectacular person, and respected and loved by everybody, including in the military,” Trump told Guillens mother. He added that the FBI and Department of Justice are now involved in the case, as well as people at Fort Hood.

“We didnt want to have this swept under the rug, which could happen,” Trump said.

Vanessa Guillen
U.S. Army officials are are asking for the publics assistance in locating Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old Soldier stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. (Fort Hood Press Center)

Trump was surprised when he heard a funeral has not been held because investigators have not handed over Guillens remains to the family.

“You—you havent had a funeral? Because this is quite a while now,” Trump asked, and shortly later, adding, “its a terrible thing. When would you like to have the funeral? When?”

The family informed Trump that the funeral is planned to be in Houston and they would like the funeral to take place as soon as possible.

“As soon as possible with the funeral,” the president said. “Well make sure—well make sure that happens. Okay, please? … And if I can help you out with the funeral, Ill help you with that.”

Trump offered to help financially, to which Attorney Natalie Khawam, a lawyer for Guillens family who is on the case pro bono, responded that the military will be paying for the funeral.

“If they need something, Ill—well take care—well make sure she is very respected,” Trump then said.

Mayra Guillen, Vanessas sister, said the family had declined a military funeral.

“We actually declined because my mom didnt want a military casket and stuff like that. Vanessa is very unique, so we wanted something unique for her. So far, a lot of people have been helping us, but it has been a rough three months,” she said.

US-POLITICS-TRUMP
President Donald Trump speaks with Gloria Guillen (3rd L), the mother of Vanessa Guillen, a Fort Hood soldier found dead after disappearing from Fort Hood, Texas, as well as her family and lawyer in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on July 30, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Khawam told Trump that Robinson allegedly used a hammer and “bludgeoned [Guillen] to death.” Robinson then “carried her body out and he buried it in the river nearby. He used a machete,” Khawam said.

Trump later said “the good thing is that hes gone,” adding, “now were going to go in to see what happened.”

Khawam said that she took part in drafting a bill, referred to as the #IAmVanessaGuillen bill to help victims of sexual harassment in the military. The bill would allow service members to report sexual harassment claims to a toll-frRead More From Source

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