Sen. Cotton: Obama’s Commutation of Manning Sentence Will ‘Cause Harm’ to National Security

• January 17, 2017 9:35 pm


Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) blasted President Obama's decision on Tuesday to commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former soldier who leaked classified information to WikiLeaks.

While speaking with CNN's Jake Tapper, Cotton said that Manning caused grave harm to American national security. Cotton himself is an Army combat veteran of both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and serves on the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

"Chelsea Manning pleaded guilty to very serious crimes leaking highly classified information that put at risk the lives of our troops and our diplomats, our intelligence officers, allies who have helped us around the world," Cotton said. "This was grave harm to our national security, and Chelsea Manning is serving a sentence and should continue to serve that sentence."

"But for the president, especially a president who has made so much recently about the danger that WikiLeaks has posed to our national security, to commute Private Manning's sentence, I just think it's very disappointing," Cotton continued.

When Tapper asked Cotton about the criticism that was made of Manning being sentenced in the first place, Cotton reemphasized the national security harm caused by Manning's leaks and that he could not go into great detail as much of that material is still classified.