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Thu Jan 2, 2020, 11:24 AM

From the Brig to Mar-a-Lago, Former Navy SEAL Capitalizes on Newfound Fame [View all]

A year ago, Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher was wearing drab prison scrubs at a brig near San Diego, facing murder charges that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life. Chief Gallagher was acquitted this summer of charges that he shot at civilians and killed a wounded captive with a knife while serving as a platoon leader in Iraq. The punishment for his lone conviction — posing for a grisly trophy photo with the dead captive’s body — was reversed this fall by President Trump, who has repeatedly praised him. At a political rally in Florida, he called him “one of the ultimate fighters.”

Now, Chief Gallagher is using his controversial past as a springboard to social media followers and branding opportunities ... he is making appearances at influential conservative gatherings and rubbing elbows with Mr. Trump’s inner circle at Mar-a-Lago. Paul Rieckhoff, the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, who has openly criticized Chief Gallagher, said that the square-jawed, blue-eyed SEAL has been a valuable political weapon for the Trump administration.

The partnership is valuable for Chief Gallagher, too, Mr. Rieckhoff said, because in raising his profile in conservative circles, he can cash in on book deals, speaking engagements and other business opportunities.

Chief Gallagher has appeared regularly on Fox News and other outlets, but declined through his lawyer to speak with The New York Times about his current projects. In an email, his lawyer, Timothy Parlatore, said: “Chief Gallagher is happy to respond to inquiries by legitimate journalists looking to publish factual pieces, but has no time for propagandists who put out knowingly false statements masquerading as fact.”


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Reply From the Brig to Mar-a-Lago, Former Navy SEAL Capitalizes on Newfound Fame [View all]
left-of-center2012 Jan 2 OP
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