When former Texas Gov. Rick Perry arrived Thursday at confirmation hearings for his appointment as President-elect Donald Trump’s energy secretary, he showed up with more than just his wit and wisdom.
In fact he appeared with a secret weapon: former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, the survivor of a 2005 Taliban ambush in Afghanistan, whose harrowing experiences during the attack were later documented in the award-winning film “Lone Survivor.”
But it was not Luttrell’s duty at Thursday’s hearing merely to provide the former governor with moral support. Rather, he had apparently been chosen for what many have since described as his “death stare.”
Take a look:
Um, how can you not confirm Rick Perry with Marcus Luttrell giving you the death stare? pic.twitter.com/OShwdUpvi9
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 19, 2017
Whether the former Navy SEAL purposely gazed at Perry’s interlocutors with soul-searing eyes so as to intimidate them remained unclear. It was possible that this was simply his style of observation.
Either way, the effects of the gaze were indisputable: One would have to possess the heart of a lion not to feel uneasy as Luttrell’s eyes bore through one’s soul.
What was known was that Perry and Luttrell, both Texas natives, were longtime friends.
“That’s my family,” Luttrell said during an interview two years ago regarding Perry’s candidacy for president. “I have been part of the Perry family and have been for a long time, and you back up your family’s play.”
“If you know the inner fabric of a man, what he’s made of, then you know he’s going to do what he says he’s going to do,” he added. “And that’s really important to me.”
A profile published in The Washington Post that same year revealed how the two became such close buddies in the first place.
“Marcus Luttrell was a broken man in search of a haven,” the profile read. “He found it one day in spring 2007 when, struggling to recover his body and mind and with the horrors of war still raw, he showed up unannounced at the Texas governor’s mansion and asked to see Rick Perry. Over the ensuing months, a virtual father-son relationship blossomed, the two men said.”
That is beautiful.
However, were Luttrell’s presence and “death stare” Thursday enough to ensure Perry’s confirmation? Stay tuned.
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