Pro-Trump war 'hero' interviewed on Fox News admits he faked his record

Pro-Trump war 'hero' interviewed on Fox News admits he faked his record
© Fox News

A man who claimed to be a Vietnam veteran and Navy SEAL in a Fox News segment earlier this month has admitted to lying about his service and faking his awards, including two Purple Hearts.

John Garofalo appeared on Fox in an Oct. 8 segment to show off a massive hand-cut glass presidential seal that he made as a gift to honor President Trump.

“God bless John Garofalo,” one anchor said during the segment. “We certainly hope maybe the president is listening.”

Since being exposed, Garofalo apologized in an interview with the Military Times and admitted that he has been fabricating his service for years.

“It got bigger and bigger,” Garofalo said. “What I did I'm ashamed of, and I didn’t mean to cause so much disgrace to the SEALs.”

In the segment, Garofalo spoke of his time in Vietnam as a Navy SEAL, but records show that while he was a member of the Navy for four years, he never served in Vietnam and was not a SEAL, according to the Military Times.


Don Shipley, a retired Navy SEAL who outs false service claims, first contacted Fox News about the story the day after it aired, and when it was not immediately corrected, he spoke with the Military Times and provided official records that disputed Garofalo’s claims.

“Fox News not withdrawing that story has drove me nutty,” Shipley told the Military Times.

Fox corrected the story on Thursday, 11 days after it aired, and issued an apology.

“Unfortunately, all of Garofalo's claims turned out to be untrue,” the network’s statement reads. “We apologize to our viewers, especially veterans and servicemen and women.”

Fox has seen a guest make a false claim on their background before. 

Wayne Shelby Simmons appeared regularly on the network starting in 2002 while posing as a former CIA operative with an expertise in terrorism analysis. Simmons parlayed his higher profile on television into gaining work as a defense contractor. 

A federal judge sentenced Simmons to 33 months in prison in 2016 for fraud. 
A Fox spokesperson said at the time that he was not paid for his appearances and was “never a contributor for Fox News, only a guest.”
Joe Concha contributed to this report