Fox News host Pete Hegseth has aggressively lobbied President Donald Trump in private to pardon several accused war criminals, the Daily Beast reported Tuesday. Trump appears to have heeded his and others’ calls, indicating over the weekend that he was preparing to pardon multiple alleged war criminals.
In recent months, Hegsheth has had multiple conversations with Trump about pardoning the men, three unnamed people with “knowledge of the situation” told the Daily Beast. The list includes Navy SEAL platoon leader Edward Gallagher, who’s accused of murdering an Islamic State prisoner who was receiving medical care, and shooting civilians, among other things.
In March, Trump announced that Gallagher, who counts several Capitol Hill Republicans as allies, would be moved to less restrictive confinement.
In honor of his past service to our Country, Navy Seal #EddieGallagher will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court. Process should move quickly! @foxandfriends @RepRalphNorman
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2019
Hegseth hasn’t confirmed the Daily Beast story, but he didn’t exactly deny it in a tweet Monday night.
— Pete Hegseth (@PeteHegseth) May 21, 2019
Fox News did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.
This wouldn’t be the first time a Fox News personality failed to disclose discussions with Trump or his allies that were relevant to their coverage. Sean Hannity, for example, repeatedly talked about and interviewed Trump fixer Michael Cohen without revealing he was Cohen’s client.
Hegseth has also advocated for others in conversations with Trump, The Daily Beast reported. On air, he’s advocated for — and interviewed people connected to — Gallagher; Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, another accused murderer; and Lt. Clint Lorance, a convicted murderer.
The report noted that Trump tagged Hegseth when he announced late last year that he’d review Golsteyn’s case. Using scare quotes, Trump called Golsteyn a “U.S. Military hero.”
At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a “U.S. Military hero,” Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder. He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas. @PeteHegseth @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
Earlier this month, Trump pardoned Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, who’d been convicted of murdering an Iraqi prisoner.