Reality Leigh Winner, the 25-year-old government contractor who recently stole classified documents from the National Security Agency, has revealed her strategy for avoiding jail time: play the “pretty, white and cute” card.
The plan, which Winner reportedly discussed with her sister from the Georgia detention center where she resides, is somewhat hypocritical since she has said on social media that “being white is terrorism.” (RELATED: NSA Leaker: ‘Being White Is Terrorism’)
“I’m going to play that card being pretty, white and cute, braid my hair and cry and all,” Winner told her sister during a phone call from the jailhouse, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Solari said in a court hearing in Atlanta on Thursday.
Winner was arrested over the weekend after she admitted to FBI agents that she stole a Top Secret report from her employer, Pluribus International, an Augusta, Ga.-based NSA contractor.
After printing out the report on May 9, she mailed them to a reporter with The Intercept, the news website.
The document, dated May 5, revealed that the NSA had determined that Russian hackers had attempted to hack into state voting systems across the U.S.
Winner, who was denied bail on Thursday, was discovered after a reporter with The Intercept contacted the NSA, which on May 30 informed the FBI of the breach. Investigators were able to determine that Winner was the person who leaked the documents to The Intercept.
Solari gave other details about Winner’s strategy going forward as well as her motivations for stealing the Top Secret report.
The prosecutor said in another jailhouse conversation, Winner told her mother that she wanted her to tell the media that she was afraid for her life. (RELATED: NSA Leaker Is A Bernie Supporter Who ‘Resists’ Trump)
“Play up that angle,” Winner told her mother, according to Solari.
Solari also said that FBI agents recovered notebooks in which Winner said she wanted to “burn the White House down” and move to Kurdistan or Nepal.
Winner, a former Air Force linguist, was outwardly critical of Trump in her social media posts. A Bernie Sanders supporter, yoga enthusiast and supporter of numerous left-wing causes, Winner appeared most agitated in recent months over the standoff involving the Dakota Access pipeline.