U.S. Navy secretary says he won’t consider Trump’s tweet a ‘formal order’

The secretary of the U.S. Navy said Saturday he doesn’t consider a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump an order and would need a formal order to stop a review of a sailor who could lose his status as a Navy SEAL.

“I need a formal order to act,” Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said, and referred to the tweet. “I don’t interpret them as a formal order.”

Trump insisted last Thursday 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.

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