A Marine Corps veteran and contractor spoke to Fox News on Friday night about his video from Iraq supporting President Trump’s travel restrictions that went viral — currently more than 44 million views and counting.
Lance Corporal Steven Gern, 42, who worked as a contractor in Iraq starting in 2005, posted his video on February 1, and told Fox News he was evacuated from Iraq the next day because of it.
In the video, Gern said he had spoken to a group of Iraqi men about the travel ban, without getting into specifics. “My simple question was, ‘As an American, if I went out in town right now, would I be welcome?’ And they instantly said, ‘Absolutely not, you would not be welcome.’ And I said, ‘OK, so what would happen if I went out of town?’ And they said the locals would snatch me up and kill me within an hour.”
Gern said his company’s security director pulled him from the country due to the CEO’s concern for Gern’s safety. He did not disclose the name of the company in an effort to keep co-contractors currently in Iraq out of danger.
“I never thought in a million years that this would go viral, and happen over a simple conversation with my team members,” Gern told Fox News. “There are a lot of unknowns right now and what we don’t need is to continue to flood the United States with people from countries that are in such bad states when it comes to terrorism—we can’t have them come in until they are properly vetted.”
Gern said he has not had contact with his company, and is concerned about losing his job after posting the video, but felt it was necessary.
“This is boots on the ground—this is what’s actually happening—I know firsthand,” Gern said. “People are being naive—they need to understand there is a reason we have processes and policies in place to protect Americans.”
The travel ban is currently suspended after a ruling by the 9th circuit court of appeals in the US. President Trump currently has many options available to him to advance his cause however which route he will take is currently unknown.