Fox News Retracts Story About Fake Navy SEAL

Glass artist John Garofalo has been exposed as a fraud after he claimed to be a Vietnam War veteran and Navy SEAL in a Fox News segment October 8. Fox News/Screenshot

A glass artist who appeared on Fox News claiming to be a Navy SEAL who earned two purple hearts so he could show off a giant glass sculpture he made for President Donald Trump has been exposed as a fraud.

Fox has removed a video from its Facebook page of an interview with Navy veteran and glass artist John Garofalo that aired October 8. The video was still up Thursday afternoon. Before it was removed, the video gathered 1.5 million likes on the social media platform.

Garofalo created the giant presidential seal in hopes of personally presenting it to President Trump. 

“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,” Fox News wrote in its retraction. “Unfortunately, all of Garofalo's claims turned out to be untrue.”

“The fact is that he did not serve in Vietnam. He was never a U.S. Navy SEAL,” the statement said. “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.” Fox is set to run an on-air correction Sunday.

Garofalo was exposed as a fraud by former Navy SEALs who reached out to Fox News so they could correct the record, according to the Military Times.

“We apologize to our viewers, especially veterans and servicemen and women,” Fox News wrote in its retraction.

When contacted by the Military Times Garofalo admitted he was a fraud and that he had masqueraded as a Vietnam vet and Navy SEAL for years.

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“What I did I‘m ashamed of, and I didn’t mean to cause so much disgrace to the SEALs,” Garofalo said, noting the lie “got bigger and bigger” over time.

When Navy Times contacted Garofalo Thursday, Garofalo admitted he had lied and never served in Vietnam, never received a Purple Heart and was never a SEAL.

It is true that Garafalo “served in Spain and he gifted two presidential seals to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush,” Fox News said in its retraction. “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.”