During his first interview since being released from Fort Leavenworth prison after President Trump granted him clemency last week, Army Lt. Clint Lorance responded to 2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden's criticism of his pardon on "Fox & Friends" Monday.
He said the former vice president doesn't believe his own words.
Lorance served six years of a 19-year sentence for second-degree murder after he ordered soldiers to open fire on three motorcycle riders in Afghanistan in 2012. Several of his platoon members later testified against him before he was convicted. The president took an interest in Lorance's case, but Biden claimed Trump violated the law when he issued the pardon.
"Trump's intervention in the American military justice system to pardon service members accused or convicted of war crimes betrays the rule of law, the values that make our country exceptional & the men and women who wear the uniform honorably," Biden tweeted Sunday. "He is not fit to command our troops."
Lorance said it's hard to believe Biden actually thinks that, considering he has a son who served in the military. He also accused Biden of pandering to political donors to stir up his base, ahead of the 2020 election.
"With all due respect to the former vice president, that seems to be a partisan answer," he said. "That seems to be something that he's just toeing the party line on. I highly doubt the vice president, being the patriotic man with a son in the military like he had, I highly doubt that he really believes that. And I think that what he's doing is, he's toeing the party line.
"He's doing what he thinks his donors and the people that are signing his paycheck are expecting him to do," Lorance continued. "And I think if you were to sit down with him face to face I think he'd have an issue saying that... face to face."