‘Glad I Could Help!’: Trump Congratulates Navy Seal Found Not Guilty Of War Crimes

The president tweeted to congratulate the Navy SEAL, but some on Twitter wondered what Trump's involvement in the trial was.

Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher celebrates with his wife Andrea after being acquitted of premeditated murder at Naval Base San Diego July 2, 2019 in San Diego, California. Gallagher was found not guilty in the killing of a wounded Islamic State captive in Iraq in 2017. He was cleared of all charges but one of posing for photos with the dead body of the captive.
Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

The president tweeted to congratulate the Navy SEAL, but some on Twitter wondered what Trump's involvement in the trial was.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to share his congratulations to a Navy SEAL found not guilty of war crimes, including murder, The Hill reported.

The president’s message was directed toward Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, who was recently found not guilty of murdering an ISIS captive and the attempted murder of Iraqi citizens, per The Hill report.

“Congratulations to Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, his wonderful wife Andrea, and his entire family,” Trump said on Twitter. “You have been through much together. Glad I could help!”

In March, Trump ordered that Gallagher be released from pre-trial confinement.

The Navy SEAL was reported to authorities in 2018 by members of his own platoon, who claimed he shot at Iraqi civilians in 2017 and killed an ISIS captive with a hunting knife.

Gallagher was found not guilty Tuesday of nearly all charges, including pre-empted murder of the ISIS captive, CNN reported. But the jury, which consisted of seven soldiers, did find the decorated Navy SEAL guilty of taking a photo with the 12-year-old ISIS member, a crime with a maximum sentence of four months, per CNN.

Navy prosecutors argued that Gallagher took the photo with the ISIS fighter after stabbing him, while he was being treated by U.S. medics, according to CNN. Gallagher’s defense never disputed the fact that he took the photo or that he texted it to a friend alongside a message reading “good story behind this, got him with my hunting knife,” CNN wrote.

People on Twitter were quick to react to the president’s well-wishes.

One user seemed exasperated, tweeting, “whatever.”

Another user wondered if the president would give Gallagher a cabinet position after his acquittal.

Others wondered if Trump’s tweet was an admission that he tampered with a criminal trial.

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Still, some supported the president. One user told another on Twitter to “be nice” to Trump.

In May, the president said he was considering pardoning the Navy SEAL and had requested documents on the case. At the time, Trump said he believed that soldiers were often treated “very unfairly.” Former military officials and U.S. veterans urged Trump not to pardon Gallagher over fears it would give other nations the idea that the U.S. was not interested in upholding the law in combat zones, per The Hill.

Gallagher was expected to be released from custody Tuesday, as he already served his maximum four-month sentence during pre-trial confinement, Axios reported.