Dec 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

NSA leaker Reality Winner: "I am not a traitor"

Reality Winner, a former National Security Agency contractor sentenced to more than five years in prison for leaking a classified document on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

A screenshot of Reality Winner on CBS' "60 Minutes." Photo: CBS

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.

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."
Go deeper