A retired Navy SEAL who earned two commendation medals with valor devices after serving in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan is taking heat after appearing, in a video posted to social media, to praise a mob that violently broke into the U.S. Capitol last week.
Adam Newbold, who retired in 2017 and was listed as a Navy contractor on the service’s website, said in a now-deleted Facebook video that doors and windows needed to be destroyed on Jan. 6 to get into the U.S. Capitol, which he called “our building; our house.”
“Maybe they just didn’t get the message,” Newbold said in the video, which was posted by ABC News. “… I’m hoping the message was strong enough. Unfortunately, maybe it wasn’t — I’d hate to see this escalate more.”
Newbold, who did not respond to emails and phone messages, later told ABC he regrets being part of the crowd.
“I would like to express to you just a cry for clemency, as you understand that my life now has been absolutely turned upside-down,” Newbold told ABC News. “I am not a terrorist. I am not a traitor.”
Newbold is a contractor for the Navy Warrior Challenge program, Cmdr. Courtney Hillson, a Navy spokeswoman, said. The Warrior Challenge prepares SEAL hopefuls for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training.
Navy officials have not responded to questions about whether that relationship is now under review. Newbold told Task and Purpose that he resigned from the position as soon as the video ABC News reported on started getting passed around.
“[Truthfully], dealing with the potential legal ramifications, as I’m being called a traitor and people are accusing me of sedition and insurrection: I cannot fulfill my obligations with that job, nor other obligations that I had,” he told the outlet.
Newbold’s name and contact information were removed from the Navy Warrior Challenge’s website Wednesday evening.
The FBI has interviewed Newbold about his involvement in the Jan. 6 mob at the Capitol, which left five dead, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who served in the Air National Guard.
The whole event, Newbold told ABC News, “was all taken too far.” He told Task and Purpose he initially felt proud of getting into the Capitol and was not aware when he made the video of the damage inside or the death of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was killed by police inside the building.
Eight members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff took an unprecedented step Tuesday, writing a memo to the entire military denouncing the Capitol riot and calling it a “direct assault” on Congress and the constitutional process.
The general and flag officers urged all troops to protect and defend the Constitution.
Newbold enlisted in the Navy in 1994 and retired as an E-8 special operations senior chief, according to his service records. He has two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with combat “V” devices, four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and four Good Conduct Medals.
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