There are two sets of controversies surrounding Kyle. One is related to comments which he made which some have interpreted as bigoted and offensive, such as describing all Iraqi insurgents as "savages" and describing how he "loved" killing them, his only regret about his time in Iraq was that he couldn't kill more. He also voiced contempt about wider Iraqi society for each faction vying for supremacy rather than sharing power and working together. A persistent rumour was that Kyle went down to New Orleans with a fellow SEAL during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, set up on the roof of the Superdome and killed a couple dozen looters. However, this story stemmed from a conversation Kyle had with fellow SEAL Brandon Webb about rumours of other snipers doing so, Kyle made no claim to do so himself. Kyle also claimed that once, while stopped at a gas station, a pair of men tried to carjack him. When he reached into the car, ostensibly to give them his keys, he claims to have actually grabbed a pistol and shot the two men dead. He claimed that when the police arrived he had a contact at the Department of Defense order them to let him go free. A biographer sympathetic to Kyle scoured law enforcement agencies in the area where Kyle said this took place and could find no double shooting matching Kyle's description. In his memoir, Kyle talks about attending a SEAL event where an older, famous, ex-UDT frogman began making comments about American servicemen in Iraq which Kyle found offensive. Kyle said that he then punched the man, knocking him out. In the book, Kyle refers to the man only as "Scruff Face" but in subsequent interviews, Kyle identified "Scruff Face" as Jesse Ventura, a former pro-wreslter and Governor of Minnesota. Ventura sued Kyle for defamation and presented several witnesses who testified that the punch never happened. After Kyle's death, Ventura continued the suit against Kyle's estate, eventually winning the case. However, in 2016, federal judges overturned the verdict. It was alleged that Kyle had remarked that he wanted to kill people carrying Korans. This came from an incident where Kyle killed an armed insurgent whose wife later claimed he was only carrying his Koran. When an investigating officer put the claim to Kyle, he told him, "I don't shoot people with Korans. I'd like to but I don't", to show how stupid the allegation was. A further rumour was that Kyle had claimed he was going to donate the proceeds from his book to the families of dead SEALs but then did not. In truth, Kyle intended to but his death plunged his family into financial crisis and they nearly lost their house, only saved by the proceeds of the book and film.
In 2016, the website the Intercept also discovered a discrepancy in the terms of medals Kyle had earned. Kyle had persistently claimed to have won two silver stars and five bronze stars for valor. However, military records show that Kyle actually earned one silver star and three bronze stars for valor. By contrast Kyle's official Navy discharge papers, his DD214, tally with the account in Kyle's book. The navy later amended Kyle's DD214 to one silver star and four bronze stars, commenting that Kyle would have had no influence over his awards beyond signing for them.