A glass artist, who claimed to be a former Navy SEAL and the recipient of two purple hearts, appeared on a Fox News story that featured a glass sculpture he had created for Trump. It turned out that John Garofalo, the glass artist, was a fraud and none of his claims were true.
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As reported by The Washington Post, Fox issued a retraction after discovering Garofalo’s claims, made during a piece that aired on October 8, were false.
“Garofalo claimed he was a Vietnam veteran, a member of the first U.S. Navy SEAL team, and a decorated war hero who was awarded two Purple Hearts,” wrote Fox News. “Unfortunately, all of Garofalo’s claims turned out to be untrue.”
The statement from Fox News continued, “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,” said the news agency.
The discovery was made after former Navy SEALs contacted Fox News and exposed Garofalo as a fraud, giving Fox News a chance to correct the record.
“We apologize to our viewers,” said Fox News, “especially veterans and servicemen and women.”
When Garofalo was contacted by the Military Times regarding his claims, he admitted they were fraudulent. He added that he had pretended to be a Vietnam veteran and Navy SEAL for years.”
Speaking about the incident, Garofalo stated, “What I did I’m ashamed of, and I didn’t mean to cause so much disgrace to the SEALs.” He noted that the lie “got bigger and bigger” as time passed.
Fox News did cover some of Garofalo’s background in their retraction, asserting that Garofalo “served in Spain and he gifted two presidential seals to Presidents Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush.”
They 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.”
Garofalo gained a notable amount of attention after spending a portion of the interview praising President Donald Trump. The original video had been viewed 1.5 million times on Fox New’s Facebook, though the post was taken down once the inaccuracies were discovered.