A Marine who spoke at former president Donald Trump’s rally in Georgia last weekend lied about being the person seen on video hoisting an infant over a wall at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to a military spokesperson.
At the rally, former President Donald Trump invited Lance Cpl. Hunter Clark to the stage, implying he was the Marine seen in the viral video who lifted a child over the wall.
“We’re also honored to be joined by one of the Marines who bravely served in Kabul during the withdrawal,” Trump said, “and helped evacuate children over … the airport wall. You saw him. He did a great job.”
Clark, who’s under investigation for taking part in political activities by speaking at the Trump rally, told the audience Saturday: “I am the guy that pulled the baby over the wall and it’s definitely probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my entire life.” Clark then thanked the audience for their support before leaving the stage.
Trump’s Save America PAC later issued a statement promoting a Fox News story with the headline, “Trump invites Marine who pulled baby over Kabul wall onto stage at rally prompting ‘USA!’ chants.”
CNN reported Friday that Kelton Cochran, a spokesman for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said in a statement: “Regarding the viral photo that began circulating around August 20, 2021, the Marine identified in that particular image was not LCpl Clark.”
“The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) has initiated a command investigation regarding LCpl Hunter Clark’s attendance at the event last weekend to determine if any DoD policies were violated,” Cochran said, adding that “details pertaining to this incident are not releasable while the investigation is being conducted.”
CNN noted that, “It’s not clear if there are other instances of US troops hoisting babies over the wall at the Kabul airport.”
Cochran’s mother, Peggy Clark, told CNN by phone that her son was “not going to comment” on the network’s fact check of his story.
“He’s asked that I not give out any information right now,” Clark said. “He can’t do any interviews or speak with anybody right now. I’m sorry. He’s got to go through some things and when he gets the chance and can do that then I’m sure he’ll make a statement.”