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By Saagar Enjeti
President Donald Trump stated his extreme displeasure with Private Chelsea Manning Thursday, after Manning admonished former President Barack Obama in an op-ed.
Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017
Manning’s admonishment came despite Obama’s commutation of his sentence, which will release him from prison 28 years earlier than scheduled. Manning leaked hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables to Wikileaks in 2009, which caused international embarrassment to the U.S. He was sentenced to 35 years in military prison.
Despite letting him out of prison decades early, Manning wrote that Obama had “very few permanent accomplishments.” Manning took particular aim at Obama’s so-called mistreatment of the LGBT community saying:
In the aftermath of the deadly shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that took the lives of nearly 50 queer and brown people, it took Obama over 300 words of his speech to acknowledge the queer community, and even then, as an abstract acronym.
He maintained after the sentence that he was unfairly treated. Manning’s clemency application maintained his belief that he was unfairly sentenced to such a long period in prison saying, “I have never made any excuses for what I did. I pleaded guilty without the protection of a plea agreement because I believed the military justice system would understand my motivation for the disclosure and sentence me fairly. I was wrong.”
Obama defended letting manning out of prison, saying, “justice has been served,” in his final press conference.
Manning also maintained that he had been bullied throughout his time in the military, which was compounded by his gender dysmorphia. A soldier who served with Manning in Army Basic training said he was “not a team player” and frequently ostracized himself from the group.