WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will block possible military efforts to remove the Navy SEAL whose demotion over a war crimes charge he reversed last week.
“The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin,” Trump tweeted. “This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!”
The Navy late Thursday issued a statement acknowledging the tweet in which Trump called for them to halt the review that could banish Gallagher from the SEALs, but indicating they are waiting on a formal order.
“The Navy follows the lawful orders of the president,” said the Navy’s top spokesman, Rear Adm. Charlie Brown. “We will do so in case of an order to stop the administrative review of (Special Operations Chief) Gallagher’s professional qualification. We are aware of the President’s tweet and we are awaiting further guidance.”
Gallagher is one of the three defendants in war crimes cases in which Trump intervened last week, issuing pardons to two soldiers and restoring Gallagher’s rank and pay.