President Donald Trump has reportedly floated bringing the three accused war criminals he pardoned recently, including Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, up on the stage of his campaign rallies and even the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Two unnamed sources told the Daily Beast on Monday that Trump has mentioned potentially creating special roles for Gallagher, Clint Lorance and Matthew Golsteyn in his 2020 reelection campaign after having pardoned their war crime convictions on November 15.
“He briefly discussed making it a big deal at the convention,” one of the sources said.
Trump reportedly compared doing so to the 2016 RNC, where “on-stage heroes” were brought out.
The controversy surrounding Trump’s pardons of the three men against the Pentagon’s guidance became even more volatile after the President interfered in the Navy’s process of deciding whether to take away Gallagher’s Trident Pin.
Last week, Trump abruptly declared that the Navy would allow Gallagher, who was charged with the murder of an ISIS teen but ultimately only convicted of posing in a photo with his corpse, to keep the pin. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters on Monday that Trump had personally ordered him to allow Gallagher to remain a SEAL.
The chaos culminated in the ouster of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who had opposed Trump’s handling of Gallagher’s case.
The Trump campaign did not respond to request for comment at the time of publishing.