In what may come as a surprise to many, US President Donald Trump today came to the defence of ex-President Barack Obama. Responding to intelligence leaker Chelsea Manning, who was jailed for spying and pardoned by Obama, Trump said it was “terrible” to believe that Manning was calling Obama a weak leader. “Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!” Trump tweeted.
In an article in The Guardian, Manning had slammed Obama’s “few permanent accomplishments” and said he was a weak leader. Manning, a former military intelligence analyst in Iraq, was found guilty of leaking 7,00,000 documents and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. This was the biggest leak of classified documents in American history. A transgender woman, Manning was found guilty and sentenced to prison for 35 years. The punishment sparked outrage among activists who said Manning had done a public service by exposing the human rights abuses by American forces.
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
In her first column since she was pardoned by Obama, Manning said, “This vulnerable legacy (Obama’s) should remind us that what we really need is a strong and unapologetic progressive to lead us.” Talking about the need of “unapologetic progressive leader”, Manning said, “The one simple lesson to draw from President Obama’s legacy: do not start off with a compromise. They won’t meet you in the middle.”
Trump praising Obama may have surprised many as the former had never left an opportunity to attack the latter during the Presidential election campaign.During his first media interview wit ABC News, which was broadcast today, Trump had heaped praise on Obama.
Talking about his experience when Obama left the Oval office for the last time as US President, Trump said, “The amazing thing to me, and you may see it differently, is I think I have sort of a great relationship and there was a vicious campaign and vicious things were said by him and by me about each other…This was rough… Hillary had great assets on her side — him (Obama) and Michelle, who is a phenomenal person.”