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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."

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
11 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.