US President Donald Trump was pictured with a former US Navy Seal who was granted clemency after being committed for war crimes.
Chief petty Officer Eddie Gallagher, who had initially been cleared by a military jury of murder but was convicted with posing with the body of a dead teenage Islamic State fighter, was pictured with Trump in Florida last week.
The New York Times published excerpts of video interviews that fellow soldiers had with military investigators, where they described Gallagher as “evil” and “toxic”. He was accused of killing civilians, including a small girl in Afghanistan.
“I think he just wants to kill anybody he can,” Corey Scott, a medic from the platoon, told investigators. “The guy is freaking evil,” special operator first class Craig Miller added.
US Navy secretary Richard Spencer was ousted by Trump in the aftermath of the case, after clemency was granted. Spencer wrote in the Washington Post that the president’s intervention as “shocking and unprecedented”.
Since clemency was granted Gallagher has gone on to appear on several conservative television shows and has been sponsored by various brands to promote their products.