Former U.S. Navy sailor Kristian Saucier was pardoned by President Donald Trump on Friday. Just a day later, Saucier praised Trump for his decision while taking former President Barack Obama and his Department of Justice to task for using him as a "scapegoat."
Saucier was convicted of unauthorized retention of national defense information in Oct. 2016 and sentenced to one year in prison. He was released from prison last September. The charges stemmed from multiple photographs Saucier took while a sailor aboard the USS Alexandria, a nuclear-powered submarine.
Sailors aboard submarines are barred from having personal electric devices because of highly sensitive areas around the sub.
What did he say?
On the first morning that he woke up as an officially free man — and no longer a felon — Saucier praised Trump on "Fox and Friends" for following through with a promise to pardon him while taking aim at Obama and Obama's DOJ for using him as a "scapegoat."
"We are very grateful to the president...he's an amazing man and this is just one of the many great things that he's done in his term," Saucier said of Trump, before explaining a call he had with the president on Friday.
"I thanked the president for helping my family get our lives back," he said. "He’s got so much to do and to take the time to do something about this and to call me, it’s just amazing. I’m so overwhelmed."
Saucier went on to explain he believes Trump pardoned him because his case was just of a young sailor who made a "misguided" mistake and was targeted by a few government officials, who "wanted to take the heat off Hillary Clinton" for her private email scandal.
"President Trump saw that and that's why he spoke about my case," Saucier said.
"Because it was a clear attempt by the Department of Justice, you know, under Obama, to use me as a scapegoat to take the heat off Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information," he explained.