Retired Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who kept his Trident pin after President Trump intervened in his war crimes case, met with the commander in chief ahead of the Christmas holiday to “thank” him with a “little gift” from his service in Iraq.
“Finally got to thank the President and his amazing wife by giving them a little gift from Eddie’s deployment to Mosul,” Gallagher and his wife, Andrea, captioned a set of photos with Trump and the first lady at their Mar-a-Lago estate. The images were posted on Instagram Saturday.
In one of the images, Trump, standing beside Melania and Andrea, holds the present. Exactly what Gallagher gave the president wasn’t disclosed.
Chief Petty Officer Gallagher, a member of the elite Navy SEALS, was accused of war crimes and charged with multiple counts of murder, including shooting and killing an unarmed elderly man and a schoolgirl while deployed in Iraq and fatally stabbing a teenage ISIS fighter who was brought in for medical treatment. He allegedly posed for a picture with the prisoner’s body.
Gallagher was acquitted on all charges but was convicted of bringing discredit to the armed services by posing for a photo with a corpse.
Some Navy officials still sought to discipline him, including potentially stripping Gallagher of the Trident pin that signifies membership in the SEALs, but when he faced a demotion in rank, Trump intervened to reverse the decision and announced on Twitter he would not permit the Navy to take Gallagher’s pin.
Related: Trial of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher
Trial of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher
Trial of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher
FILE - In this Thursday, May 30, 2019, file photo, Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher leaves a military courtroom on Naval Base San Diego with his wife, Andrea Gallagher, in San Diego. Edward Gallagher, who has been charged with allegedly killing an Islamic State prisoner in his care and attempted murder for the shootings of two Iraq civilians in 2017, is scheduled to go on trial Monday, June 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Julie Watson, File)
Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, right, walks with his wife, Andrea Gallagher as they arrive to military court on Naval Base San Diego, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in San Diego. Jury selection continued Tuesday morning in the court-martial of the decorated Navy SEAL, who is accused of stabbing to death a wounded teenage Islamic State prisoner and wounding two civilians in Iraq in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder, charges that carry a potential life sentence. (AP Photo/Julie Watson)
Edward Gallagher, a US Navy Special Operations Chief facing murder trial in the death of an Islamic State prisoner, leaves a military courtroom on Naval Base San Diego after a military judge cited interference by prosecutors, graphic element on gray
Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, left, hugs his wife, Andrea Gallagher, after leaving a military courtroom on Naval Base San Diego, Thursday, May 30, 2019, in San Diego. The decorated Navy SEAL facing a murder trial in the death of an Islamic State prisoner was freed Thursday from custody after a military judge cited interference by prosecutors. (AP Photo/Julie Watson)
U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher's defense attorney Tim Parlatore speaks to the media after opening arguments in the soldier's court-martial trial at Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, California , U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake
U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher leaves court with his wife Andrea, her name tattooed on his wrist, after the first day of jury selection at this court-martial trial at Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, California , U.S., June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former U.S. army member King Cohn arrives at court to support U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher during the first day of jury selection at the court-martial trial at Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, California , U.S., June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The entrance to the courthouse at Naval Base San Diego is shown where jury selection begins in the court-martial trial of U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher in San Diego, California , U.S., June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Defence attorney Timothy Parlatore, representing US Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, speaks with reporters at a pre-trial hearing for Gallagher's court martial for alleged war crimes in Iraq, in San Diego, California, U.S., May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Earnie Grafton
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Last month, Trump’s Navy secretary, Richard Spencer, was fired by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper for his objections to the president’s “unprecedented intervention.” Spencer pushed for a naval review board to consider Gallagher’s wartime actions. The Pentagon said Esper asked for Spencer’s resignation because of a “lack of candor.”
Gallagher, who had eight overseas deployments, including service in both the Iraq War and in Afghanistan, accused Spencer of "meddling in my case and trying to get organizations not to support me."
Spencer, in a final letter to Trump, said he no longer shared the “same understanding” of “good order and discipline” with the commander in chief.
Meanwhile, Trump defended Spencer’s ouster, saying, “I have to protect my warfighters.”
“I was not pleased with the way that Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s trial was handled by the Navy. He was treated very badly but, despite this, was completely exonerated on all major charges. I then restored Eddie’s rank,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I thank Richard for his service & commitment. Eddie will retire peacefully with all of the honors that he has earned, including his Trident Pin.”
As planned, Gallagher retired on Nov. 30 after 20 years of service.