Lance Cpl. Recognized by Trump for Kabul Evacuation Not the One in Viral Photo, Marine Corps Says
“I’m the guy that pulled the baby over the wall. It's probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my life,” Hunter Clark said at a recent Trump rally. A Marine spokesperson said that Clark was not the one in the viral photo.
"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."
When Clark took the mic, he made a simple speech.
“I’m the guy that pulled the baby over the wall. It's probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my life,” Clark said, referring to the now-famous images of a marine lifting an Afghan baby to sanctuary during the chaotic evacuation at Kabul airport.
The Trump crowd went wild cheering for Clark, and he became emotional as he left the stage.
But now, the Marine Corps says Clark was not the one in the viral photo after all.
"Regarding the viral photo that began circulating around Aug. 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.
However, the Marines confirmed that Clark was definitely at the Kabul airport during the heroic evacuation efforts. It may be possible that there was a misunderstanding, or that Clark saved another baby.
There were several instances during the evacuation of Afghans handing children to U.S. troops, according to Cochran.
Although he wasn't in uniform at the rally, Clark is also being investigated over whether he violated the military's ban on active duty troops engaging in partisan political activity.
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