'Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden': How Fox News Landed Exclusive Navy SEAL Interview

"Hearing what happened from someone who was there gives that moment a whole new perspective"
Courtesy of Fox News Channel

Fox News is set to air its exclusive interview with the Navy SEAL who says he killed Osama Bin Laden just a week after the soldier's identity was revealed.

The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden, which airs at 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, features FNC Washington correspondent Peter Doocy's sitdown with Rob O'Neill, who gives his first TV interview since his role in the operation was revealed. The Navy SEAL, also known as "The Shooter," talks about training to be a member of America’s elite fighting force and explain his involvement in Operation Neptune Spear, the mission that killed Bin Laden on May 1, 2011.

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Ahead of the doc's premiere, Fox News vp John Finley, who served as executive producer of the program, answered some questions about how the interview came together.

How did you secure the exclusive? 

Peter met Rob and developed a relationship with him. At the point when they started exploring the idea of Rob telling his story, I joined the discussion and flew out to Montana to meet with Rob and his family. Even after that meeting it took more than a year of discussing and negotiating before Rob felt comfortable going on camera and revealing himself to the world.

Was it hard to gain his trust?

Peter’s relationship with Rob made it easier for him to trust us, but he was still reluctant at first to talk about something so sensitive, especially since the fallout was so difficult to predict.

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What were his concerns about doing the interview? (A recent report suggested that O'Neill could face a criminal investigation from the Pentagon if the interview aired.)

Rob had concerns about security for himself and his family. Ultimately that was his decision to make; there were only so many reassurances that we could give him. He also was concerned about how his Navy SEAL brethren would react to his breaking his silence and how the general public would react to hearing this story firsthand from someone who was there.

What sorts of revelations can viewers expect?

The biggest revelation is hearing about the last few seconds of Usama Bin Laden’s life and what happened on the third floor of the compound in Pakistan. Rob came face-to-face with the world’s most wanted terrorist, someone our country had been hunting for more than a decade. It was the culmination of years of hard work by men and women in our armed forces and law enforcement and intelligence communities. Rob says the whole country got Bin Laden, but hearing what happened from someone who was there gives that moment a whole new perspective.

Watch a preview of the doc below.

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