Trump Hails a Soldier the Army Just Charged with Murder as a “Military Hero”

Prosecutors say this former Green Beret committed a war crime.

Matthew Golsteyn admitted to the killing in a 2016 interview.

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Early Sunday morning, President Donald Trump sent a tweet promising to examine the case of an Afghanistan war veteran who earlier in the week was charged with murder by Army prosecutors.

The charges date back to 2010, when Maj. Matt Golsteyn was deployed with a unit fighting near Marja. Three Marines he was working with were killed by a booby trap bomb. In a 2016 interview with Fox News, Golsteyn, a Green Beret, described apprehending a man he believed to be the bomb maker and killing him, even though, according to Fox News, superiors had ordered him released on a lack of evidence.

Golsteyn’s actions were first investigated at least as early as 2011. In 2014, an inquiry closed without formal charges, but Golsteyn was stripped of a combat medal, kicked out of the special forces, and found to have engaged in conduct unbecoming of an officer. Another investigation was opened late in 2016 following his Fox appearance.

Golsteyn’s case has previously been championed by a handful of prominent veterans, including Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who wrote a 2015 op-ed arguing that Golsteyn’s punishments were “no way to treat one of America’s top soldiers.” In August, federal prosecutors charged Hunter with campaign finance violations, alleging, among other infractions, that Hunter and his wife discussed a scheme to officially report a personal clothing purchase as an expenditure meant to benefit wounded veterans.

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate