Navy SEALs Call Edward Gallagher “Freaking Evil” and “Toxic” in Leaked Videos

President Donald Trump has repeatedly defended Gallagher, a former SEAL accused of war crimes.

Edward Gallagher walks out of military court in July in San Diego, California.Sandy Huffaker/Getty

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Navy SEALs told investigators that Edward Gallagher, the former SEAL accused of war crimes whom President Donald Trump called one of “our great fighters,” targeted women and children with violence and was “evil” and “toxic.”

In videos leaked to the New York Times, SEALs told Navy investigators that Gallagher, who was accused of fatally stabbing a captive teenager and shooting a school-age girl, often attacked people indiscriminately. One SEAL said he bragged that “burqas were flying.” Another, asked if Gallagher was biased against people from the Middle East, said, “I think he just wants to kill anybody he can.” Others said:

“The guy is freaking evil,” Special Operator [Craig] Miller told investigators. “The guy was toxic,” Special Operator First Class Joshua Vriens, a sniper, said in a separate interview. “You could tell he was perfectly O.K. with killing anybody that was moving,” Special Operator First Class Corey Scott, a medic in the platoon, told the investigators.

Three SEALs said they saw Gallagher stab a teenager who was in their custody and barely conscious. Gallagher then conducted a ceremony in which he treated the teenager’s body like a trophy. “I was listening to it, and I was just thinking, like, this is the most disgraceful thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Miller told investigators.

The new reporting on Gallagher is featured in The Weekly, a documentary series from the Times:

In July, a military jury acquitted Gallagher of murder and attempted murder, choosing only to convict him for posing for photos with the body of the teenager SEALs said he stabbed to death. “Congratulations to Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, his wonderful wife Andrea, and his entire family,” Trump wrote on Twitter after the acquittal. “You have been through much together. Glad I could help!” 

After the trial, Rear Admiral Collin Green, who oversees Navy special warfare operations, moved to strip Gallagher’s status as a SEAL. Trump overruled Green on Twitter, writing that Gallagher would keep the trident pin worn by SEALs.

Last Saturday, Gallagher and his wife met the president and the first lady at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Gallagher appeared to give Trump an ISIS flag he had obtained. On their joint Instagram account, Gallagher and his wife called it a “Magical Night.” 

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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