As American Sniper achieves enormous box-office success, NBC reporter Ayman Mohyeldin accused Navy sniper Chris Kyle of perpetrating racially-motivated “killing sprees” during his tours of duty in Iraq.
The Egyptian-American reporter told MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday that if audiences “don’t know anything about Chris Kyle — don’t know if it was a true story — this is a great movie.”
But, Mohyeldin argued, the heroic way Chris Kyle is portrayed in the film is “very far from reality.”
“A lot of his own personal opinions about what he was doing in Iraq,” he explained. “How he viewed Iraqis. Some of what people described as his racist tendencies towards Iraqis and Muslims as he was going on some these killing sprees in Iraq.”
Host Joe Scarborough was stunned. “Chris Kyle was going on killing sprees?” he asked.
Mohyeldin refused to return to the “killing sprees” comment, claiming only that Kyle had racist “personal attitudes about what he was doing overseas, when he was on assignment.”
With 160 confirmed kills, Kyle is the deadliest sniper in American history. But while the Pentagon has investigated and prosecuted U.S. soldiers who unjustly killed civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, Kyle was never under investigation by DoD authorities for any unlawful killings — nor did any of his fellow soldiers report such behavior.