In 2013, Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance was tried and found guilty of second-degree murder after ordering his men to fire on three innocent men in Afghanistan.
He was sentenced to 19 years in prison for his war crimes.
Going against his own Department of Defense, President Trump went out of his way to pardon Lorance last week. The convicted murderer then promptly appeared on Fox and Friends, where the show's famously Trump-supporting hosts showered him with praise.
Exclusive: Clint Lorance gives first interview since pardon by Trump youtu.be
The show's hosts, Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Pete Hegseth couldn't hide their excitement at seeing the war criminal.
"Thank you for serving our country. God bless. We wish you all the best in your future."
Hegseth previously lobbied President Trump to release Lorance from prison.
On Fox & Friends, pardoned war criminal Clint Lorance speaks directly to President Trump: "I love you, sir. You're… https://t.co/WkV2FZeMZK— Bobby Lewis (@Bobby Lewis)1574082645.0
Trump also issued pardons for Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn and Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, both of whom had been accused of war crimes including the alleged murder of a prisoner of war.
It’s was an HONOR to have Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance (@LoranceClint 👈 FOLLOW HIM!) on @foxandfriends this… https://t.co/QIR4r41MWW— Pete Hegseth (@Pete Hegseth)1574087556.0
Lorance told Fox and Friends:
"I'm so happy to be an American. A soldier or service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock 'em down."
@thedailybeast God bless our war criminals— The Soapbox (@The Soapbox)1574096014.0
He also delivered a message directly to President Trump:
"I love you, sir. You're awesome. I wish you had a better team around you. You need more people watching your back, and I think you don't have a lot of that."
@thedailybeast This is deplorable. I physically feel ill at the flouting of laws, courts, norms.— Lady Pie de Grue (@Lady Pie de Grue)1574096467.0
Lorance also responded to his critics, including the Department of Defense who CNN reports asked Trump not to "intervene in the military justice system by dismissing charges or changing the sentences of service members accused of war crimes."
In the former prisoner's words, the Pentagon "threw him under the bus."
@thedailybeast FYI 9 members of Lorance's platoon testified against him. “War is hard, there is collateral damage… https://t.co/x9JjtliKJZ— Rjl (@Rjl)1574098233.0
@thedailybeast #Trump pardons only the finest people!— #FliptheSenate #HoldtheHouse #VoteBlue (@#FliptheSenate #HoldtheHouse #VoteBlue)1574096244.0
Trump reportedly spoke with Lorance on the phone earlier this week.
The President said his pardons would leave "a lot of people irritated," but that it didn't matter to him. The nine members of Lorance's platoon who testified against him also didn't appear to matter to the President either.
Lorance loved this.
"That's what I want in my commander in chief. The military justice system is completely broken."
@thedailybeast https://t.co/e2ILDHhBxy— Cynthia (@Cynthia)1574098782.0
@thedailybeast What a slap in the face to soldiers who served honorably.— tags7453🇺🇸 Dogs leave pawprints on our hearts🐕 (@tags7453🇺🇸 Dogs leave pawprints on our hearts🐕)1574095933.0
Hegsheth signed off on the segment by saying:
"This has been a group fight. We're grateful you spent your first opportunity here at 'Fox & Friends.'"