Trump says Navy won't remove SEAL status from officer at center of war crimes case

Trump says Navy won't remove SEAL status from officer at center of war crimes case
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE on Thursday denied that the Navy would strip a service member of his SEAL status following an acquittal of murder charges against the officer earlier this year.

"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin," Trump tweeted. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"

The president's tweet came following multiple reports in recent days that the Navy would start the process to take away Gallagher's trident, which would all but remove him as a member of the elite SEAL team.

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Gallagher was convicted earlier this year of one charge of posing with an ISIS captive’s body. He was acquitted on more serious charges related to an incident where he allegedly shot at several civilians during a 2017 deployment and killed the ISIS captive, who was already injured, with a hunting knife.

Trump last week signed an order restoring Gallagher's rank to chief petty officer after it was downgraded during his trial. He also granted pardons to two other service members in cases involving allegations of war crimes. 

Gallagher's case became a rallying point for Trump and conservatives who argued that he had unfairly been punished for his actions in a war zone. The president congratulated Gallagher when he was acquitted on most charges in June, saying he was "glad I could help."

However, Trump's decision to intervene in Gallagher's case and that of the two other service members has irked some in the Defense Department who view it as undermining the military judicial process.