WATCH: Kayla Mueller’s Father says U.S. Government ‘Put Policy of Not Paying Ransoms in Front of American Citizens’ Lives’

Kayla Mueller and her father Carl in a family photo.
Kayla Mueller and her father Carl in a family photo.

Slain ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller’s father has accused the Obama administration of putting its policy of not paying ransoms “in front of American citizens’ lives.”

In an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie, Carl Mueller said he had mixed feelings about the government’s refusal to negotiate with terrorist groups who kidnapped foreigners. Other Western countries are known to have paid millions to secure the release of their nationals.

“We understand the policy about not paying ransom,” he said. “But on the other hand, any parents out there would understand that you would want anything and everything done to bring your child home. And we tried. And we asked. But they put policy in front of American citizens’ lives.”

When asked whether the government did enough to help the 26-year-old aid worker, Mueller’s mother Marsha replied: “​I think they wanted to. But I think again, it’s the policy. And I don’t think anyone had any idea this group would be as powerful as they were.”

The Arizona native was captured in Syria in August 2013.

In a letter sent to her family last spring, Mueller wrote: “I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty, if there is any other option take it, even if it takes more time.”

Mueller’s mother, Marsha Mueller, said that she put her daughter’s fate in the hands of a higher power.

“I just saw such joy in her in helping. And it was something that she was called to do,” Marsha Mueller told Guthrie. “So … a long time ago, I accepted that I can’t control my kids. I can’t control any of this. I’ve just gotta put her in God’s hands and let him take care of her.”

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NBC News

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