The MAGA community has raised more than $2 million for a Marine officer who went viral for criticizing the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and saying he wanted to “bring the whole fucking system down.” The officer in question, however, has spoken out against former President Donald Trump.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, a decorated battalion commander, is in military jail on suspicion of violating military laws.
After the news, the Pipe Hitter Foundation set up a fundraising platform for Scheller.
The foundation is run by the former Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was convicted in 2019 after posing for a photo with the body of an Islamic State captive. Trump granted him clemency in November 2020.
The appeal had raised more than $2,262,000 as of Sunday.
Scheller has been celebrated as a hero across right-wing politics, according to David Gilbert, writing in Vice. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and Madison Cawthorn have backed him, and dozens of Republicans, led by Rep. Louie Gohmert, signed a letter calling for Scheller’s release.
Scheller, however, has publicly renounced any help from Trump or his followers, saying he would “rather sit in jail.”
He also said that Trump was responsible for “dividing our country.”
Writing on his Facebook page on September 25, he said: “President Trump. I was told by everyone to kiss the ring because of your following and power. I refuse. While I respect your foreign policy positions, I hate how you divided the country.
“I don’t need or want your help. You do not have the ability to pull US together. You may even win the next election. But your generation’s time is running out. Tell your son to stop tweeting about me. Your whole family knows nothing about US or our sacrifices. I could never work with you.”
Scheller’s comments also criticized the Biden administration and its military choices in Afghanistan. “Follow me, and we will bring the whole fucking system down… in a constitutional manner with one loud voice,” he said on Facebook and LinkedIn at the beginning of September.
Scheller was thrown in a military jail without charge after defying orders to stop posting on social media, on Monday, according to the Military Times.
Whilst the pro-Trump faction appears to be largely ignoring Scheller’s politics, some can’t ignore his challenging comments. Vice cited one Telegram user as saying: “Scheller is anti-Flynn and anti-Trump. think he’s a Judas goat.”