President Donald Trump has criticized
Chelsea Manning, calling her an “ungrateful traitor.”
In one of his last acts as president,
Barack Obama commuted most of Manning's remaining prison sentence.
The 29-year-old former Army intelligence analyst was 7 years into a
35-year prison sentence for violating the Espionage Act.
Manning, who is transgender, expressed
her gratitude in a tweet soon after Obama announced his decision.
But in an op-ed published Wednesday in the Guardian, she
criticized Obama for not being progressive enough.
“Barack Obama left behind hints of a
progressive legacy,” Manning wrote. But “few permanent
“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.”
Obama, she added, “faced unparalleled
resistance from his opponents, many of whom wanted him to fail.”
Manning also criticized Obama's
response to last year's mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando.
“It took Obama over 300 words of his speech to acknowledge the
queer community, and even then, as an abstract acronym,” she wrote.
“Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning,”
Trump tweeted, “who should never have been released from prison, is
now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!”
to Mediaite, Trump's tweet came 14 minutes after Fox News host
Abby Huntsman reported that Manning had called Obama a “weak
leader” – something she did not do – and Fox superimposed
“ungrateful traitor” on an image of Manning.