President Trump on Thursday rejected reported plans by the Navy to strip Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher of his Trident following the president's intervention in Gallagher's military justice case.
"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!" the president tweeted.
The president's tweet follows a report that Rear Admiral Collin Green, commander of Navy Special Warfare Command, intended to inform Gallagher and three other officers their case is being sent to a review board, which could result in their expulsion from the secretive force.
Green's move was expected to be viewed as an act of defiance against Mr. Trump. It's unclear whether the president would also protect the three other officers who oversaw Gallagher: Lieutenant Commander Robert Breisch, Lieutenant Jacob Portier, and Lieutenant Thomas MacNeil.
The Navy has asked the White House to put Mr. Trump's demand in writing and has not yet taken action in response to the tweet. In a statement, the Rear Admiral Charlie Brown, Chief of Information for the Navy, said "the Navy follows the lawful orders of the president" and that they are awaiting further guidance.
Gallagher was accused of stabbing a young injured ISIS fighter repeatedly in 2017 and posing in front of his dead body for a photo. A military jury acquitted Gallagher of murder and other war crimes in July, but he was convicted of one charge of posing for photos with the captive's body.
Last week, Mr. Trump ordered a promotion for Gallagher to the rank of chief petty officer, which he held before he was prosecuted.
David Martin contributed to this report.
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