Earlier this month, Fox News aired a video about John Garofalo, a pro-Trump “multi-decorated Navy SEAL” who had personally carved a ginormous — 4 foot, 150 pound — glass seal he wanted to give to President Donald Trump.
In the clip, Garofalo, 72, is reported to have received two Purple Hearts and about 22 commendations for his seven years of service in the Navy. He was reportedly listed twice in Vietnam as M.I.A.
“Garofalo is used to working under pressure,” Fox News reporter Bryan Llenas said. “The Vietnam War veteran served seven years as a member of the nation’s first Navy SEAL team. He was awarded 22 commendations, including two purple hearts.”
“You are a hero,” Llenas tells him in praise. “True hero,” another anchor repeats. “An amazing guy, I hope he gets to meet the president,” says another one.
There’s only one problem. The story is fake, as Garofalo himself admitted to NavyTimes.
It turns out the guy never served in Vietnam, was never a SEAL and didn’t receive a Purple Heart:
“It got bigger and bigger,” he said. “What I did I‘m ashamed of, and I didn’t mean to cause so much disgrace to the SEALs,” he told the publication.
Fox News was forced to run a correction last night:
Unfortunately, all of Garofalo’s claims turned out to be untrue. The fact is that he did not serve in Vietnam. He was never a U.S. Navy SEAL. Even though he showed us medals, Garofalo was not awarded two Purple Hearts or any of the other nearly two dozen commendations he claimed to have received, except for the National Defense Service Medal.
Former and retired SEALs said they tried to contact Fox News about Garofalo’s fake story but the network failed to correct it.
“Fox News not withdrawing that story has drove me nutty,” Don Shipley, a retired SEAL who’s dedicated to finding fake military stories, told Navy Times.
A Freedom of Information request shows “Naval Special Warfare Command having no records of Garofalo in the history of the elite units’ ranks,” according to Navy Times.
In its apology, Fox News added:
“Over the last two weeks, we’ve worked with Garofalo’s family and the National Personnel Records Center to get to the bottom of a military past that Garofalo had claimed to be covert. We apologize to our viewers, especially veterans and servicemen and women.”
Watch the video below: