There are many misconceptions about the role that Navy SEALs actually play as part of the Navy and military as a whole. This is due in part to the portrayal of Navy SEALs in film, fiction literature, and television. Many American Spies in movies and books will either be active Navy SEALs or retired Navy SEALs. But the truth of matter is that Navy SEALs are not International Spies.
First and foremost, you should consider what SEAL stands for: Sea, Air, Land. Navy SEALs are trained to work and operate in these three specific environments. SEALs are true blooded military men who generally operate as a TEAM. Spies generally operate alone and never as a TEAM. The image of a Navy SEAL as James Bond is an inaccurate image.
U.S. Navy SEALs are given missions which they carry out as a group, whereas spies will generally infiltrate an area and will place themselves in amongst the people while pretending to be someone else. Navy SEALs are more apt to sneak in during the night under a shroud of secrecy and get the job done. Additionally, the majority of Navy SEAL missions are rescue missions and are not to gather Intel.
The only Navy SEALs who claim to be spies are individuals posing as Navy SEALs. No true Navy SEAL would ever state that they are a spy. Additionally, they would be more apt to tell you nothing about their status then to tell you anything at all. In that same regard, a true spy would never tell anyone that they are a spy.