The Marine Corps said on Wednesday it is investigating the case of a Marine who told a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas that he was the one who “pulled the baby over the wall” into the United States while on patrol in Afghanistan.
“The Marine Corps takes all service member allegations very seriously,” military spokesman Maj. Mitchell Anderson said. “So far we have not identified a Marine to whom the alleged statement was made.”
The Marine told Trump at the rally on Tuesday that the “baby in the baby crate over there” wasn’t supposed to be dropped. He said he asked his sergeant if the order came from an American or a terrorist and the sergeant said the order came from an American.
“I was going to get him killed, OK?” the Marine said he told his sergeant. “When he said, ‘You’re the guy that pulled the baby over the wall,’ I said, ‘My bad.’ I’m not a baby killer. I did wrong. I’m sorry.”
On Wednesday, the Marine told Fox News that he is fully cooperating with investigators, but he said he is staying out of the media as an exercise in humility.
“I didn’t want to be used as a pawn,” he said. “I just want to get through my post-traumatic stress disorder and get out of that Marine Corps — get out and earn a living as a father and a husband.”
According to the military, Anderson added that “any service member who alleges they witnessed wrongdoing by another member of the services will be investigated without regard to the service member’s position or rank.”
“We will take all appropriate action including using all available investigative and administrative resources in order to ensure a thorough, fair and thorough investigation,” he said.
In the day since Trump praised the Marine during his rally, questions have arisen over whether military law was broken. A military criminal law expert and former judge, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Fox News that it is the Marines’ responsibility to report the incident to civilian authorities, not to Trump.
“If someone speaks up, the way it is described to me — and I’ve heard it many times — is that you should reach out to civilian authorities and get a civilian to take care of it. I think that’s what the Marine Corps should be doing,” he said.