Mar 31, 2019 - Politics & Policy

The Fox News connection behind Trump's Eddie Gallagher tweet

President Trump signaled on Saturday that he was intervening to help a Navy SEAL accused of crimes while serving Iraq.

Catch up quick: "In honor of his past service to our Country, Navy Seal [sic] Eddie Gallagher will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court. Process should move quickly!" Trump tweeted. The president tagged the "Fox and Friends" Twitter account and South Carolina GOP Rep. Ralph Norman — both of whom have advocated for Gallagher.

Details, per Politico: "Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to a series of charges stemming from his 2017 deployment with the California-based SEAL Team 7. Apart from the accusation that he murdered a teenage ISIS fighter under his care, military prosecutors contend that he held his re-enlistment ceremony with the detainee’s corpse. Gallagher is also accused of shooting two civilians in Iraq and firing inadvertently into crowds."

Behind the scenes: Trump has been following Gallagher's story closely — especially through the coverage of "Fox & Friends" hosts Pete Hegseth and Brian Kilmeade.

  • In addition to his public advocacy for Gallagher, Hegseth has spoken to the president privately about the case, a source familiar with their conversations told me.
  • When I asked him about this, Hegseth said he did not want to comment for the story.

Between the lines: "This is not the first time Trump has cited Fox News while taking an interest in a case involving a US serviceman on combat duty," the Guardian reports.

  • "In December, Trump cited Fox News host Pete Hegseth in a tweet that said he would 'be reviewing the case of a U.S. Military hero, Major Matt Golsteyn', a former green beret 'who is charged with murder' and could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a terrorist bomb maker while overseas."
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