Trump Hints At Troop Pardons: We Teach Them To Fight, Then They’re ‘Treated Very Unfairly’

May 24, 2019 1:06 p.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

While President Trump said he hadn’t made any decisions yet on future pardons for military personnel on trial for war crimes, he hinted on Friday which way he might be leaning.

Speaking to reporters before leaving for Japan, Trump was at first non-committal before he suggested that troops shouldn’t be punished when “we teach them how to be great fighters.”

“We’re looking at a lot of different pardons for a lot of different people. Some of these soldiers are people that have fought hard, long. We teach them how to be great fighters and then when they fight sometimes they get really treated very unfairly,” he said. “So, we’re going to take a look at it. I haven’t done anything yet. I haven’t made any decisions. There’s two or three of them right now. It’s a little bit controversial. It’s very possible that I’ll let the trials go on and I’ll make my decision after the trial.”

The Daily Beast reported earlier this week that a Fox News host, who has been vocal about his support for several military personnel currently in custody for alleged war crimes, has been privately lobbying Trump to pardon several former members of the military, including Eddie Gallagher, who is accused of murdering an Islamic State prisoner who was getting medical treatment.

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: