One guest made heads turn at this weekend’s holiday festivities at Mar-a-Lago: convicted Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher. According to an Instagram post on the couple’s joint account, Gallagher and his wife Andrea were among the throngs the Trumps welcomed to the “winter White House.”
“Finally got to thank the President and his amazing wife by giving them a little gift from Eddie’s deployment to Mosul,” the Gallaghers captioned the images.
Eddie Gallagher’s military trial for first-degree murder and other war crimes during his 2017 deployment to Iraq, including posing with the corpse of a 14-year-old ISIS fighter he was accused of murdering, rocked the SEALs, which historically does not bear witness against its own.
He was ultimately acquitted of murder, but convicted of posing with the corpse.
In November, Trump stirred controversy by praising Gallagher, a longtime Trump supporter, following the Gallaghers’ public relations campaign largely carried out on FOX News. The president took his public comments one step further when he tweeted that Gallagher wouldn’t be stripped of his SEAL trident, which denotes membership in the unit, as the Navy planned.
Now-former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was subsequently forced out over his objection to Trump intervening in the case.
Comments on the Gallaghers’ Instagram post were effusive. “Amazing to share this spectacular evening with you after praying for you for so long,” wrote Women for Trump co-chair “Dr.” Gina Gentry Loudon. “What an honor to have you here!”
The Apprentice alum Stephanie Myers, lately of Turning Point USA, gushed, “I miss you both already! I am so glad you could join us for dinner and finally get the quality time we wanted for you with the POTUS and FLOTUS.”
The Gallaghers tagged a slew of people in the post, including Eric and Lara Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Myers, and a few companies.
One of the companies tagged was Half Face Blades, which sells custom and production knives and tools. Gallagher was accused of slitting the captured teen’s throat with a custom-made hunting knife, reportedly later texting friends a photo of the deceased child captioned, “Good story behind this. Got him with my hunting knife.”
On Twitter, the Gallaghers’ invitation to Mar-a-Lago wasn’t met with surprise so much as abhorrence.
“Donald Trump welcomed Eddie Gallagher to Mar-a-Lago,” tweeted political commentator Edward Hardy. “Eddie Gallagher is the guy who took pictures with the corpse of a prisoner he murdered.”
Writer Scott Tobias noted, “This is why it’s hard to be civil around relatives and other acquaintances who support this guy. What are your values if you think what Eddie Gallagher did was okay? And that he deserves to be heard over the other SEALS who spoke out insistently against him?”
Don't get it twisted. Trump doesn't for a second think these guys are 'innocent' of what they were accused. He thinks what they were accused of was GOOD. That shooting civilians, executing prisoners and threatening any soldiers who testify against them are all how wars are won— zeddy (@Zeddary) December 22, 2019
I would love to see every man and woman who served honorably send a letter to trump, or an email to the White House, telling him how disgusted we are that he pardoned a war criminal like Eddie Gallagher. We should remind him we expected nothing more from a draft dodging coward.— American Veteran (@amvetsupport) December 22, 2019
C’mon, he’s comfortable with ALL criminals!— Kathleen OKeeffe (@beerwxsports) December 22, 2019
Trump invited Eddie Gallagher to Mar-a-Lago last night.— Sergio Siano (@SergioJSiano) December 22, 2019
You know, the war criminal he pardoned. The guy who killed a child and then took a picture with his corpse, smiling. That Eddie Gallagher.
There has been no word on precisely what souvenir from Mosul, Iraq the Gallaghers gave Trump as a gift.