Trump says Navy won’t remove Gallagher’s SEAL designation

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 2, 2019, file photo, Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher leaves a military court on Naval Base San Diego. The attorney for Gallagher, convicted of posing with a dead captive in Iraq, says the Navy is trying to remove the special operations chief from the elite fighting force in retaliation for President Donald Trump restoring his rank. Defense attorney Timothy Parlatore said the Navy is holding a review board proceeding to remove Edward Gallagher's Trident pin and summoned him to meet with the SEAL leadership on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, July 2, 2019, file photo, Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher leaves a military court on Naval Base San Diego. The attorney for Gallagher, convicted of posing with a dead captive in Iraq, says the Navy is trying to remove the special operations chief from the elite fighting force in retaliation for President Donald Trump restoring his rank. Defense attorney Timothy Parlatore said the Navy is holding a review board proceeding to remove Edward Gallagher's Trident pin and summoned him to meet with the SEAL leadership on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump insisted Thursday that the Navy “will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin,” inserting himself into an ongoing legal review of the sailor’s ability to hold onto the pin that designates him a SEAL.

The Navy on Wednesday notified Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher that he will face a review early next month to determine if he should remain on the elite force.

Gallagher was acquitted of a murder charge in the stabbing death of an Islamic State militant captive, but a military jury convicted him of posing with the corpse while in Iraq in 2017. He was then demoted to chief.

His lawyers have accused the Navy of trying to remove the SEAL designation in retaliation for Trump’s decision last week to restore Gallagher’s rank.

Rear Adm. Charlie Brown, a Navy spokesman, responded 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."

Trump tweeted Thursday, “This case was handled very badly from the beginning” and he urged those involved to “Get back to business!”

Gallagher filed a complaint with the inspector general accusing a rear admiral of insubordination for defying Trump’s actions. Rear Adm. Collin Green is the Naval Special Warfare commander.

“How can Admiral Green credibly preach about preserving good order and discipline while publicly flouting the orders of the commander in chief?” attorney Timothy Parlatore said.