Reality Winner, the 25-year-old Air Force veteran and federal contractor being charged with espionage for allegedly leaking a top-secret NSA document to The Intercept, had apparently been vocal about opposing President Donald Trump, and said she would “stand” with Iran in a hypothetical war with the US.
After Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted a video defending Iran’s ballistic missile program, which US officials under Trump and former President Barack Obama, as well as former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, had condemned as a violation of the spirit of the Iran deal, Winner offered her support.
Replying to Zarif’s video on February 7, Winner tweeted: “There are many Americans protesting US govt aggression towards Iran. If our Tangerine in Chief declares war, we stand with you!”
She began her job as a federal contractor with top-secret clearance around or on February 13, according to the Justice Department. By May, she allegedly had mailed top-secret information to the Intercept.
In another tweet she describes Trump as an “orange fascist.” At least eight times, Winner retweeted a picture of a young girl with Trump-like hair and a long red tie with the hashtag “#largerhands.”
The NSA document allegedly leaked by Winner shows detailed attempts from Russian military intelligence to hack the 2016 US presidential election.
“Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government,” said deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein. “People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation.”
Under the Espionage Act, Winner faces up to 10 years in prison.
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