White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, said former Army soldier Chelsea Manning has “served her time” for leaking government documents.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo on his show “New Day,” Wednesday, asked the White House press secretary why the President would commute the sentence of someone who leaked 750,000 classified documents and videos of very sensitive material.
Josh Earnest responded by saying “Chelsea Manning committed some serious crimes and she has served nearly seven years in prison as punishment for those crimes.”
Earnest also said, “The seven years Manning has spent in prison is consistent with the sentence that was handed down to other people who have committed similar crimes but got less attention for committing them.”
Earnest added, “But it’s also important to consider, she took responsibility for committing those crimes, she expressed remorse for committing those crimes and she has served her time.”
On Tuesday, President Obama commuted the prison sentence of Manning, who was serving a 35-year sentence for crimes committed in 2013. Manning was charged with leaking classified information about U.S. national security activities and that information was eventually released by WikiLeaks.
Manning’s sentence was the harshest ever imposed on a releasing of information conviction, and she was in her seventh year of serving it when she received the good news on Tuesday. Manning will be released on May 17th.
While in prison, Chelsea Manning, a transgender formerly known as Bradley Edward Manning, had been struggling with some mental health issues and had tried to commit suicide twice and spent time in solitary confinement as punishment.
Josh Earnest said his biggest problem, and what he has a “hard time swallowing,” is the criticism of the Republicans who said that what Manning did was Treason.
“While at the same time, those same Republicans, endorse a man for president who praised WikiLeaks, who gives the leader of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, more credit, for having more integrity than the men and women of the United States intelligence community,” Earnest said. “The criticism that is put forth by Republicans on Capitol Hill for this action, requires the American people to suspend belief and suspend their memory about all of the words that were spoken about WikiLeaks by the man that they endorsed for president of the United States. I would say it’s astonishing, if it weren’t par for the course when it comes to Republican intellectual dishonesty.”
White House Press Secretary: The work of journalists has never been more important. https://t.co/g7NVSJ251P
— New Day (@NewDay) January 18, 2017
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