Chris Kyle's former roommate reacted on Fox and Friends to the jaw-dropping court victory by Jesse Ventura, who had pursued a defamation lawsuit against one of the most decorated U.S. soldiers of the post-9/11 wars.


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Here's the background from AP:

ST. PAUL, Minn. –  A jury has awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in his lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle.

The federal jury in St. Paul found Tuesday that the 2012 best-selling book libeled Ventura in describing a bar fight in California in 2006. Kyle wrote that he decked a man later identified as Ventura after the man allegedly said the Navy SEALs "deserve to lose a few."

Ventura, a former governor and professional wrestler, testified the incident never happened. Kyle insisted in testimony videotaped before he was slain last year that it did.

Both sides put witnesses on the stand during the two-week trial that backed their version of events.

Legal experts said before the trial Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win.

Ben Smith, Kyle's roommate during SEAL training, still disputes that his friend lied about the confrontation, which occurred at a memorial service for a SEAL who had been killed when he jumped on a grenade.

Smith said he's having trouble "grasping" how the American judicial system could come up with a verdict like this, recalling that Kyle had told him about the confrontation with Ventura.

"He was running his mouth and saying some really vile stuff, saying we should lose more men, more heroes, more guys out there who were fighting the fight. Is that not almost treasonous? Like you're anti-American, saying we should lose?  [Chris] said 'you say that again, I'm going to pop you in the -- I'm going to get ya.' And he did and he came over and did it," said Smith.

Brian Kilmeade asked if the verdict may have been different if Kyle had been here to testify in his own defense.

Smith believes it would have made a "huge difference," recalling that Kyle always told the truth "no matter how hard it was."

Smith called for Americans to not focus on Jesse Ventura and the ruling, but instead pay tribute to Kyle's life and heroic actions during the Iraq war.

Kilmeade suggested those who want to support Kyle's wife, Taya, should go out and buy his book, American Sniper.

Taya Kyle is considering appealing the verdict.

Later on the show, the hosts expressed their own thoughts on the shocking ruling, questioning how Ventura could go after the widow of an American hero.

"If Jesse Ventura is a real man, there are a lot of people who feel he should let Chris Kyle's widow off the hook," said Steve Doocy.


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UPDATE, 8a ET: Ventura defended himself Wednesday on CBS' "This Morning," arguing a jury rendered the decision, not him. He said he doesn't remember meeting Chris Kyle at the memorial service.

"They were drunk, they were drinking heavily and it was just another story that happened in another bar and erupted six years later," said Ventura, likening Kyle's claims to a Navy "sea story" in which the truth gets twisted over time.