New York Times reporters 'stand by' story revealing Navy Secretary Spencer threatened to resign over Trump plan to reverse SEAL's punishment
Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer, and the commander of the SEALs, Rear Adm. Collin Green, have said they will resign if Donald Trump follows through on his plan to reverse the Navy’s removal of a member of the elite team of commandos accused of war crimes, including killing an ISIS captive and threatening to kill other SEALs if they passed information about this to their superiors. The Navy plans to move ahead with disciplinary action against the accused SEAL. Maggie Haberman, Helene Cooper and Dave Philipps at The New York Times report:
Although Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher was ultimately acquitted of the most heinous charges against him, that didn’t hold true of a charge related to posing for a photo with the body of the slain captive, according to The New York Times. Members of his own platoon turned Gallagher in after the deployment, and he was demoted by one rank. [...]
“The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!”
Taking away Gallagher’s gold Trident pin would bring an end to his service in the SEALS but not oust him from the military. Such removals aren’t uncommon. Since 2011, authorities have taken 154 Trident pins away. The much-coveted pin features an eagle on an anchor, clutching a flintlock pistol and a trident. Those who receive it have undergone the toughest training the Navy provides and are expected to undertake the riskiest, roughest missions the service has to offer. The Times reports that SEALs hammer Trident pins into the casket when one of their team is killed.
Rear Adm. Charlie Brown, a Navy spokesman, told Daily Kos staff writer Lauren Floyd on Thursday: “The Navy follows the lawful orders of the President. We will do so in case of an order to stop the administrative review of SOC Gallagher’s professional qualification. We are aware of the President’s tweet and we are awaiting further guidance.” So far they aren’t treating Trump’s tweet as an order.
Spencer claimed he did not threaten to resign, but the New York Times' Maggie Haberman insists the paper stands by its reporting.
BREAKING: @USNavy Secretary Spencer did NOT threaten to resign over Trump tweet telling Navy to drop disciplinary p… https://t.co/6O3nLpd7Oh— Nick Schifrin (@Nick Schifrin)1574540473.0
We stand by the story. Thanks Frank. https://t.co/N627MrGZoL— Maggie Haberman (@Maggie Haberman)1574544094.0