Former Green Beret officer Maj. Matthew Golsteyn admitted he is “awed” by President Trump and the “incredible display of courage” he showed.
Receiving a call from the president “was an incredible honor,” Golsteyn told Fox News’ Pete Hegseth on Saturday as he spoke, along with his wife Julie, on “Fox & Friends: Weekend” about being granted clemency by Trump.
(Video: Fox News)
Trump granted full pardons to Golsteyn and Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance on Friday, as well as restoring the rank of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher. Golsteyn, who was charged with murdering a Taliban bomb maker, was set to face trial next month before the president intervened.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 16, 2019
Hegseth asked Golsteyn how he was feeling after waking up today “with a new lease on life.”
Golsteyn, who faced life in prison if convicted and had been stripped of his Special Forces qualification as well as a Silver Star he earned during his deployment to Afghanistan, said it had been a “whirlwind” few hours.
“We woke up today probably still incredibly stunned and awed by the president’s generosity, the time that he spent with us on the phone,” he said, adding that Trump was “just incredibly sanguine and warm and demonstrated an amazing degree of knowledge about the case and what had been going on.”
He admitted that it was a little “funny” to get a call informing him to “stand by for the president,” but said it was “an incredible honor” to speak with him just before the public announcement of the pardon.
Golsteyn’s wife noted the “compassion” the president showed them in his conversation, pointing out “such warmth and understanding for what, not only Matt has been through, but our family, our children … the pain we experienced from this.”
“He’s also quite funny,” her husband interjected, laughing. “He told me that I had quite a wife and that if he heard that I had parted ways with her, that all this would be coming back on me.”
Trump had announced that he was looking into Golsteyn’s case last month.
The case of Major Mathew Golsteyn is now under review at the White House. Mathew is a highly decorated Green Beret who is being tried for killing a Taliban bombmaker. We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill! @PeteHegseth
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2019
In 2016, the Army opened a second investigation and charged Golsteyn in December 2018 after an initial 2010 investigation didn’t find enough evidence to bring charges.
“This is absolutely disgusting how they’re portraying him as a cold-blooded murderer … Who will we have in our ranks if this is what we do to our good men?” Golsteyn’s wife told Fox News at the time, slamming the Army for prosecuting “good men” like her husband while treating deserter Bowe Bergdahl and leaker Chelsea Manning completely different.
Trump ended the decades-long nightmare for the Green Beret and his family with the pardon on Friday. The White House announced in a public statement:
“Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) for Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance, an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) for Army Major Mathew Golsteyn, and an order directing the promotion of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward R. Gallagher to the grade of E-7, the rank he held before he was tried and found not guilty of nearly all of the charges against him.”
“To have the ability to look forward to even just the holidays, let alone the remainder of our lives and our children’s’ lives, I can’t explain the burden that’s been lifted,” Julie Golsteyn told Hegseth.
“Because we have dealt with nefarious people for too long and to have someone have the moral courage to step up and give us our life back — and that’s another thing the president said is to give you your life back — that’s exactly what he did,” she added.
“I think it sends a clear signal that the president of the United States is paying attention,” Golsteyn added to his wife’s remarks. “How do you say thank you to someone who gave you your life back? Thank you seems incredibly insignificant, but thank you.”
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