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Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura denounced "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle as an "American liar" after settling a years-long legal battle with the late Navy SEAL's estate.

The lawsuit stemmed from a passage in Kyle's book in which he claimed to have punched Ventura out at a California bar for making offensive comments about the SEALs. Ventura maintained that incident never occurred.

A Minnesota jury awarded Ventura $1.8 million for defamation in 2014, but the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the judgment in 2016. The two sides were preparing for a new trial before reaching a settlement.

Ventura would not tell reporters how much money he received or if it came from publisher HarperCollins or its insurance company. He did say that it didn't come from Kyle's widow, Taya Kyle, or his estate.

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"I offered the 'American Liar' Chris Kyle the opportunity to show honor and courage, and he didn't have it," Ventura said at a press conference on Monday.

Ventura said he's been "vindicated," and now he can "get back into politics."

"I can smile again," he said. "The settlement is confidential, but I can smile."

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court denied Ventura's attempts to reinstate the defamation verdict against Kyle's estate.

Kyle, whose autobiography American Sniper was the basis for the 2014 film of the same name, was shot dead at a Texas gun range in 2013 by a fellow military veteran who was suffering from PTSD and mental illness.

The killer, Eddie Ray Routh, was found guilty in Feb. 2015 and sentenced to life in prison.

See Ventura's post-settlement press conference below.


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