Convicted Leaker Chelsea Manning Tearfully Thanks Obama for Granting Clemency

• June 9, 2017 8:19 am


Convicted military leaker Chelsea Manning broke down in tears while thanking former President Barack Obama for granting her clemency in an interview that aired Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Shortly before departing office in January, Obama commuted all but four months of Manning's remaining sentence. She wound up serving seven years in total of an original 35-year sentence.

Obama said at the time he was comfortable justice had been served. ABC reporter Juju Chang asked Manning about getting clemency, which the reporter called a "gift from a parting president."

"You haven't spoken to President Obama. What would you say to him if you could?" Chang asked.

"Thank you," Manning said, crying. "For giving me a chance, that's all I wanted."

"You wanted a chance," Chang said.

"That's all I asked for was a chance, that's it, and this is my chance," Manning said.

Manning tweeted out a preview of the interview Thursday night, saying it was "fun" and "emotional."

Manning was charged in 2010 with 22 offenses, including violations of the Espionage Act, after giving hundreds of thousands of classified documents and cables  to WikiLeaks.

After pleading guilty to 10 charges to avoid the death penalty, she was found guilty of other charges later and ultimately sentenced to 35 years in a military prison, the longest sentence ever for an American convicted of leaking military documents.

Manning is a transsexual formerly known as Bradley Manning. After two suicide attempts, Manning successfully lobbied the government to be allowed to undergo hormonal treatments and wear women's undergarments while in prison.