President Trump personally thanked a British SAS hero who shot dead two terrorists and rescued hostages including Americans during the Nairobi terror attack in 2019.
The elite soldier, who goes by the name Chris Craighead, revealed he had met with the President last year by posting a photo of the meeting on Instagram on Monday.
Craighead said the meeting was unplanned, and took place after Trump ‘heard… that I was in town’ and ‘took time to thank me personally for saving American lives’.
He was honored after quitting the special forces amid reports that his comrades had ‘shunned’ him and were ‘jealous’ at the attention he was getting, when SAS doctrine forces them to fight in the shadows.
A British Special Air Service hero who helped save Americans during a jihadi attack on a Kenyan hotel in 2019 shared a photo of himself meeting President Donald Trump on Instagram on Monday. The Instagram account bears the soldier’s pseudonym, Christian Craighead
Craighead revealed few details about his meeting with Trump in the Instagram caption (above)
Craighead was stationed in Kenya to help train the nation’s soldiers when heavily armed jihadis from the al-Shabaab terror group seized the Dusit D2 luxury hotel complex in January 2019
The photo, which shows Trump shaking Craighead’s hand, was snapped by the soldier’s fiancée Shealah Craighead, who serves as the president’s Chief Official White House Photographer.
As with all of Craighead’s other photos, the lower-half of his face was blurred out to protect his identity, along with other potentially identifying items in the room.
‘Last year I had the privilege of meeting with the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump,’ Craighead wrote.
‘I’ll leave this with you: The meeting was unplanned and he had nothing to gain from it. When he heard from key figures of the administration that I was in town, he took the time to thank me personally for saving American lives.’
Craighead was in Kenya helping to train the country’s security forces in 2019 when jihadi militants from the al-Shabaab terror group launched an attack on the DusitD2 hotel complex in the capital Nairobi on January 15.
Despite being off-duty and out shopping at the time, Craighead had his gear in his car, so tooled up and raced down to the complex to help out.
Craighead is engaged to Shealah Craighead (pictured), who serves as the president’s Chief Official White House Photographer
After arriving, he ‘organised the entire operation’ – according to fellow SAS veteran Chris Ryan – including directing the police and army.
Criaghead then led a one-man raid on the hotel complex, shooting dead two militants and carrying hostages to safety.
Footage of Craighead’s solo mission was seen around the world, and earned him the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC), the UK’s second-highest military award.
But it also caused friction between Criaghead and the rest of his SAS unit, who are accustomed to operating away from the spotlight, with their heroic deeds going largely unrecognised.
In September that year it was revealed that Craighead had quit the unit, walking out of its base in Hereford in ‘disgust’ at his treatment at the hands of ‘jealous’ colleagues.
It was then that he launched his Instagram page, posting pictures of his time in the SAS along with images of himself during the raid – including notes on his equipment, his training, and inspirational quotes.
The page had caused panic among UK defense officials, who feared having to take legal action against Craighead to keep him from revealing his identity or sensitive information.
Under strict rules, Special Forces troops must not discuss their missions in public or seek to ‘cash in’ on operations.
The rules were introduced following the furor over books by ex-troopers Chris Ryan and Andy McNab which dramatically raised the SAS’s public profile and led to concerns over Special Forces troops leaking sensitive information which could compromise future operations.
Footage of Craighead’s solo mission to end the Nairobi hotel siege was seen around the world, and he was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, the UK’s second-highest military award
Craighead uses Instagram to promote equipment and weapons favored by SAS troops – though it is unclear whether he is paid for the endorsements.
A source said: ‘We are worried about his actions online and we want to avoid any legal dispute with him.
‘He is vulnerable, having only recently left the regiment where he felt undervalued by colleagues.’
Craighead obscures his mouth in all of his Instagram photos to protect his true identity
Senior officials said they wanted to speak to him urgently in case he reveals his identity or any sensitive information about Special Forces operations.
Top brass were also alarmed at apparent plans for a book and a film about the Africa mission and the man’s friendship with Ryan, who launched a literary and film career after the Bravo Two Zero mission in the 1991 Gulf War in Iraq.
But friends of the disgruntled veteran said the blame lies with SAS officers and troops who denied him credit for his action. One said: ‘There was a very bitchy response inside the SAS camp to him getting a CGC.
‘At the time, other blokes had been fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria for months without any official recognition.
‘Nobody outside the regiment will ever learn what they did. So they turned their back on him, which was really harsh.
‘He deserved several pats on the back and it is such a shame his SAS career has ended like this.’
Craighead (right) is seen carrying a wounded man to safety during the hotel attack