Fox News apologizes for featuring a pro-Trump 'war hero' who lied about his military service

  • Fox News has apologised for airing a bogus story about a pro-Trump “war hero.”
  • John Garofalo, a Navy veteran, said he has been lying for years about being a Vietnam veteran and Navy SEAL.
  • The lie was first exposed by former SEALs, who contacted the Navy Times after Fox News failed to immediately retract its segment.

Fox News apologised Thursday for airing a story about a purported “war hero” who lied to the news outlet about his military service.

John Garofalo, a Navy veteran, was featured in an October 8 piece in which he discussed a glass presidential seal he hoped to gift to Donald Trump. The segment went viral, collecting more than a million Facebook views on Fox News’ page.

Garofalo told the Fox News he was a Vietnam veteran, a member of the first US Navy SEAL team, and a recipient of two Purple Hearts. None of that was true.

“We apologise to our viewers, especially veterans and servicemen and women,” the network said in its correction. “All of Garofalo’s claims turned out to be untrue. The fact is that he did not serve in Vietnam. He was never a US Navy SEAL.”

In an interview with the Navy Times, Garofalo admitted he had lied to the news outlet, and said he has falsely portrayed himself as a Vietnam veteran and Navy SEAL for years.

“It got bigger and bigger,” Garofalo told the Navy Times. “What I did I’m ashamed of, and I didn’t mean to cause so much disgrace to the SEALs.”

Garofalo did serve in the Navy for four years in the 1960s, and completed a tour in Spain, according to the Navy Times’ review of his records.

Garofalo’s lies were first exposed by former SEALs, who demanded Fox News retract the segment and then contacted the Navy Times after Fox News failed to immediately do so.

“Fox News not withdrawing that story has drove me nutty,” Don Shipley, a retired SEAL, told the Navy Times.

“I don’t know who has the balls in this day and age to do something like that.”

Fox News said it will issue an on-air correction on Sunday.

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