The mother of a U.S. Navy service member, who served prison time for mishandling classified information, said she was surprised and overcome with happiness over President Donald Trump’s decision to pardon her son.
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“I just collapsed. I was crying. I was just in joy. Oh, so many emotions, just a roller coaster of the past few years just came forward,” Kathleen Saucier told FOX Business’ Liz MacDonald. “Very grateful, very grateful to President Trump.”
Kristian Saucier, of Arlington, Vermont, served a year in federal prison for taking photos of classified areas inside a submarine.
The White House announced the pardon on Friday, saying Saucier has been recognized by his fellow service members for his “dedication” and “patriotic spirit.”
“The president has pardoned Christian Saucier, a Navy submariner. Mr. Saucier was 22 years old at the time of his offenses and has served out his 12-month sentence,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to congratulate Saucier on his "newly found" freedom.
Congratulations to Kristian Saucier, a man who has served proudly in the Navy, on your newly found Freedom. Now you can go out and have the life you deserve!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 10, 2018
Kathleen said the most emotional part of the announcement was actually not the pardon, but the president’s acknowledgement of Kristian’s service to the country.
“What hit me the most wasn’t the pardon. What hit me the most was that the president said that he was grateful for Kris’s service to our country,” she said.
Kristian, a Navy veteran of 11 years, was given a dishonorable discharge on his record, forcing him to lose his veteran benefits. Kathleen is calling on the U.S. Navy to “step up” and allow her son to apply for military benefits.
“I made a mistake when I was young kid. You know it was a misguided attempt to have so mementos and it shouldn’t never reached the level it did,” Kristian said during an interview on Fox News’ "Fox & Friends" Saturday morning.
Kristian also said he was used by the Obama-era Department of Justice as a scapegoat to take the heat off Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information.
“There maybe was a little bit of political conspiracy or big one going on that would make it look like, look, we are handling these people that are mishandling classification to try to take the heat off Hillary,” Kathleen said.