Report: Fox News’ Pete Hegseth Lobbied Trump To Pardon Accused War Criminals

on December 15, 2016 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America

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.

Hegseth hasn’t confirmed the Daily Beast story, but he didn’t exactly deny it in a tweet Monday night.

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.”

Earlier this month, Trump pardoned Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, who’d been convicted of murdering an Iraqi prisoner.

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