27 November 2019 - 19:46
News ID: 447741
A
US President Donald Trump has defended a controversial pardon he has granted to a Navy SEAL convicted of war crimes that led to the firing of the Navy secretary

RNA - “There’s never been a president that’s going to stick up for them, and has, like I have,” Trump told reporters in the White House on Monday, saying that “some very unfair things were happening.”

Earlier, the US president directly ordered Pentagon chief Mark Esper to allow Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher to retire as a Navy SEAL.

Gallagher was accused of stabbing an unarmed 17-year-old Daesh prisoner to death and randomly shooting Iraqi civilians. He was acquitted of those charges and convicted only of the lesser charge of posing with the Daesh prisoner's corpse.

"I spoke with the President on Sunday. He gave me the order that Eddie Gallagher will retain his Trident pin," Esper told reporters at the Pentagon on Monday, referring to Gallagher.

In an extraordinary move on Sunday, Esper "fired" US Navy Secretary Richard Spencer over his handling of the case.

The Pentagon chief fired Spencer after he, along with his colleague Rear Adm. Collin Green, threatened to quit if plans to hold a review of Gallagher's case were halted over Trump's tweet.

According to Press TV, Trump on Monday contrasted his interference in the military justice system with the treatment of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and Chelsea Manning, the former military intelligence analyst responsible for the biggest breach of classified materials in US history.

“You let Sgt. Bergdahl go, you let others go, including a young gentlemen — now a person — who President Obama let go who stole tremendous amounts of classified information,” he said, referring to Manning.

The transgender whistleblower, who changed her name from Bradley to Chelsea after her sentencing, was working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2010 when she provided more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, the largest leak of classified materials in US history.

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