Former Army intelligence analyst Pvt. Chelsea Manning, who leaked roughly 700,000 classified documents to Wikileaks, criticized former President Barack Obama for being a disappointing leader just days after he commuted Manning’s sentence. This prompted President Trump to respond to Manning’s criticism.
Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013, but earlier this year, Obama reduced the sentence to roughly seven years. Manning is scheduled to be released from Fort Leavenworth in May.
In an op-ed published in “The Guardian,” Manning criticized Obama for not being progressive enough.
“Barack Obama left behind hints of a progressive legacy,” Manning wrote. “Unfortunately, despite his faith in our system and his positive track record on many issues over the last eight years, there have been very few permanent accomplishments.”
“This vulnerable legacy should remind us that what we really need is a strong and unapologetic progressive to lead us. What we need as well is a relentless grassroots movement to hold that leadership accountable,” she continued.
Manning did not mention President Trump by name, but said that the country will be “moving into darker times.”
“Now, after eight years of attempted compromise and relentless disrespect in return, we are moving into darker times,” she wrote. “Healthcare will change for the worse, especially for those of us in need. Criminalization will expand, with bigger prisons filled with penalized bodies — poor, black, brown, queer and trans people. People will probably be targeted because of their religion. Queer and trans people expect to have their rights infringed upon.”
Manning said that the one thing to learn from Obama’s legacy is to “not start off with a compromise” against political opponents.
The column prompted President Trump to respond, calling Manning “an ungrateful traitor” on Twitter.
WikiLeaks responded to Trump’s tweet shortly afterwards saying that he is “wrong.”