“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 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.
Problem is, the Marine Corps says it wasn’t Clark in the video.
Facts First: In a statement Wednesday, a US Marine Corps spokesperson said Clark was not the individual who lifted the child over a wall in the viral image and that Clark is now being investigated for his appearance at the rally.
“Regarding the viral photo that began circulating around August 20, 2021, the Marine identified in that particular image was not LCpl Clark,” Kelton Cochran, a spokesman for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit said in a statement.
Cochran added, “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.”
The Defense Department generally prohibits active duty members from speaking at partisan political gatherings.
Cochran noted in his statement that “details pertaining to this incident are not releasable while the investigation is being conducted.”
It’s not clear if there are other instances of US troops hoisting babies over the wall at the Kabul airport. The chaotic scene there lasted several days as US troops aided Afghans in the withdrawal.
CNN was unable to contact Clark directly.
Asked by phone Thursday evening if her son stood by his comments at Saturday’s rally, Clark’s mother Peggy Clark told CNN, “He’s not going to comment on that.”
“He’s asked that I not give out any information right now,” she 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.”