Trump ‘Is Troubled’ By Chelsea Manning Commutation
Donald Trump is “troubled” by President Obama’s surprise decision to commute the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the president-elect’s incoming press secretary told reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s disappointing and it sends a very troubling message,” Sean Spicer said during a daily press briefing.
“I think the president-elect is troubled by this action.”
On Tuesday, the White House announced that Obama is commuting Manning’s 35 year prison sentence. Manning was convicted in 2013 of stealing nearly 1 million classified government documents while serving as an Army intelligence analyst. She gave the records to WikiLeaks in 2010, which published them on its website.
In prison, Manning, who previously went by “Bradley,” began transitioning to a woman. That made her a sympathetic figure to many on the Left.
Many had wondered where Trump would come down on Manning’s commutation, largely because the Republican praised WikiLeaks for publishing documents stolen from the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC during the presidential campaign.
Obama’s decision to commute Manning was reportedly made against the wishes of top government officials, including Sec. of Defense Ash Carter. (RELATED: Pentagon Head Clashed Fiercely With Obama Over Manning Release)
Manning will be released from prison in May.
As for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Trump may soon oversee the Australian national’s fate. Last week, WikiLeaks announced that Assange would accept a U.S. extradition request if Manning was granted clemency. Assange is currently residing in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
On Tuesday, one of Assange’s lawyer’s said that he would follow through with that pledge. It is unclear if the U.S. has filed an extradition request for Assange, who is wanted for questioning in a sexual assault case in Sweden.
But on Wednesday, another lawyer for Assange told The Hill that Obama’s commutation falls “well short of what [Assange] sought.”