Dec 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy
NSA leaker Reality Winner: "I am not a traitor"
Former National Security Agency contractor Reality Winner told CBS' "60 Minutes" she's not a traitor and acted in "service to the American people" when she leaked classified documents on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Why it matters The interview broadcast Sunday was the Air Force veteran's first since her release from prison last June for leaking a classified report after being prosecuted under the Espionage Act.
- Winner was arrested in 2017 and sentenced in 2018 to five years in prison for the leak following her guilty plea — the longest anyone has received for the federal crime of leaking classified information to the press.
What she's saying: "I am not a traitor. I am not a spy. I am somebody who only acted out of love for what this country stands for," said Winner in her interview with CBS' Scott Pelley.
- "I'm still stained by them accusing me of being the same groups that I enlisted in the Air Force to fight against," added Winner, who won the Air Force Commendation Medal in 2016 for "600 enemies killed in action."