Exclusive: Navy SEAL who served with Chris Kyle speaks out

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 11, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The trial has begun in what is being called the "American Sniper" murder case. Now, ex-Marine Eddie Ray Routh is being charged with murdering Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a Texas gun range back in February 2013. Now, Routh's defense team claims he was suffering from PTSD. And today Chris Kyle's widow Taya took the stand. The judge did not permit audio of her testimony but she was visibly seen breaking down in tears several times as pictures of Chris and his family were reportedly shown to the courtroom.

Earlier I sat down earlier with former Navy SEAL Kevin Lacz, who served alongside Chris Kyle in combat and helped Bradley Cooper prepare for his role in "American Sniper." I spoke with him about this and much more.      


HANNITY: All right, so you go from Navy SEAL to movie star. Not a bad jump, right?

KEVIN LACZ, AMERICAN SNIPER: It's quite a transition.


HANNITY: Well, tell us about Chris. I mean, I got to interview his brother, his wife, and his dad, and I loved them. You knew him at the time he was doing all of this. What was he like?

LACZ: You know, Chris was one of the most humble people I've actually met and worked with. And I had a unique position being a junior member in the platoon. So he was that sniper, that mentor for a lot of us new guys and people that hadn't deployed at that level. So I got to learn a lot from him and study him to assume that position, try and be at that level.  So I got to watch Chris so I got to watch Chris take a lot of credit and pass it off to people around him. I think that showed his humility. Chris was the humble guy. You see it his personal life in the amount of charity he did.


LACZ: He wanted to go.

HANNITY: That really helped him, though, because you go on 190,000 miles an hour, then all of a sudden it stops. That's hard. That transition is hard.

LACZ: He had to find something that would bridge that gap, and he found solace and he found peace in working with veterans and he found a lot of peace in giving back, and I think that was a big thing about Chris.

HANNITY: What really has frustrated me -- I really love the fact the American people, you know what, the rank and file, the great Americans that make this country, that work hard, pay taxes, play by the rules, make this country great every day, they responded, making this a blockbuster hit.  And then you got Michael Moores, and I'll give you another example. This is the NBC foreign correspondent. Now, you have generals and colonels demanding an apology from NBC for this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a very compelling, very thought-provoking, very emotional movie.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But when you juxtapose with the real Chris Kyle and the story of what has emerged about what kind of personality he was in his own words, very far --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you talking about the story when he was back home in Texas which may not have been true? Is that what you're talking about?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of stories about when he was back home in Texas. A lot of his own personal feelings about what he was doing in Iraq, how he viewed Iraqis, some of what people described as his racist tendencies towards Iraqis and Muslims and he was going on these, you know, killing sprees in Iraq on assignment.


HANNITY: That is NBC's foreign correspondent that is just basically giving you hearsay as though it's gospel truth. Was that Chris Kyle?

LACZ: No. And I think what we really have to look at is sometimes have you to get rid of the small memories to make room for big ones. And the biggest memory of this story is going to be validation we get from veterans when they say this story resonates with my life. And people see this story and they can feel it, and it's the story of us. And really, as a veteran, you know what hurts you. It's IEDs, it's the bullets.  Constructive criticism --

HANNITY: That is made up criticism. That wasn't Chris. You knew him. You were friends with him. You served with him. Was that him?


HANNITY: What he described, the so-called news guy on NBC, is that the Chris that you knew?

LACZ: No. Chris, you know, he was a humble guy. He definitely represented the teams well. Like all special forces, rangers SEALS, we're professional soldiers and we carry that.

HANNITY: And more confirmed kills than any sniper in U.S. history, and how many countless lives did he save in the process of using his skill?

LACZ: Right. That is what he talks about. What haunts him is the people he couldn't save. I mean, that's a man of character.

HANNITY: That was a real part of the movie.

LACZ: Yes.

HANNITY: Tell me, how did you get to be in the movie? I know you're a big star now, and I appreciate you coming. I'm kidding. I'm just messing with you. But how did you get in the movie?

LACZ: Interesting, my wife actually sent a message to Jason Hall, the writer, when she found out he's writing the screenplay. And it progressed.  And I started working with Chris and Jason to help work on the technical components. And when Chris was murdered on February 2nd, I helped invite Jason down to Texas so he could meet the SEALs, meet the family. And it progressed to a technical advisor. It wasn't until I was on the range in February of 2014 with Bradley and we're training, and he's like "Have you ever thought about playing yourself in the movie?" And it caught me off guard because I was hyper vigilant and very protective of Chris and wanted to get the story right that I didn't know what to say. I was like, just hit the targets and we'll figure it out later. He got me into that whole - -

HANNITY: Did he capture the essence of Chris?

LACZ: Absolutely. You know, Chris had that larger than life, that Texas personality. I think Bradley shows that in the movie. And it's really through an in-depth character study that he was able to do that.

HANNITY: I admire all you. I don't know how you got through hell week. I talked to every Navy SEAL I've ever met, I asked how did you do it? Because it's physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, even, it's the hardest thing you ever do, right?

LACZ: Right. It's the most fun you never want to have again. And some of my best friends are guys I went through hell week with. And really you form a brotherhood in the sands of southern California and it stays with you to the day and the brotherhood --

HANNITY: How many hours are you sleep in a night?

LACZ: At least five and a half in a week. I don't know the math.

HANNITY: Are you even thinking straight at that point?

LACZ: You don't think at that point. You just act.

HANNITY: Well, it's an honor to meet. Thank you for coming, appreciate it, thanks so much.


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