President Donald Trump on Friday pardoned former U.S. Navy sailor Kristian Saucier, who served a year behind bars for taking photos of classified areas in a nuclear submarine.
During his campaign and after he took office, Trump drew attention to the handling of Saucier’s case, describing it as politically motivated and contrasting it with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mismanagement of classified information through a private server.
“The president has pardoned Kristian Saucier, a Navy submariner,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a press briefing Friday afternoon. “Mr. Saucier was 22 years old at the time of his offenses and has served out his 12-months sentence. He has been recognized by his fellow service members for his dedication, skill and patriotic spirit.”
On “Fox & Friends” Saturday morning, Saucier said he’s very grateful to Trump for giving his family their lives back.
“He’s an amazing man, and this is just one of the many great things that he’s done in his term,” Saucier said.
Saucier revealed that when he learned of the pardon — which means he is no longer a felon and is no longer under house arrest — one of the first things he did was ask for permission to cut off his ankle bracelet.
Host Pete Hegseth said the fact that Saucier asked for permission to remove the bracelet is indicative of how he’s conducted himself with honesty and integrity throughout the ordeal.
Saucier, who served as a machinist’s mate aboard the USS Alexandria and used his cell phone to photograph parts of the submarine’s nuclear propulsion system, has repeatedly recognized that he made a mistake but maintained he meant no harm and only wanted to take photos as mementos.
“All I ever wanted to do was serve my country,” Saucier said. “I honestly believe that the systems that went after me were put in place to protect people like me until I was run through the ringer.”
“And it’s unfortunate because I still love this country. It’s still the greatest country in the world. And I believe President Trump’s taking it back to that place where it needs to be.”
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