Chelsea Manning broke down in tears while thanking former President Barack Obama in her first interview since she was released from prison last month.
In a preview of her ‘Nightline’ interview with Juju Chang that will air early next week, Manning was asked what she would say to Obama if she had the chance to speak with him after he commuted her prison sentence prior to leaving office.
She immediately began sobbing at the mention of Obama’s name, before saying: ‘Thank you for giving me a chance. That’s all I wanted.’
Manning, 29, continued to cry as she then added: ‘That’s all I asked for was chance, that’s it. And this is my chance.’
Her initial prison sentence had been for 35 years, the longest term ever handed down to a leaker in the United States, but thanks to Obama she was released after just seven years behind bars.
When the former army intelligence officer was asked if she believed that she owed Americans an apology for her actions, she replied: ‘I’ve accepted responsibility. No one told me to do this. Nobody directed me to do this.’
She then added: ‘This is me. It’s on me.’
Manning wore a floor-length knit tan dress with three-quarter length sleeves and a crewneck for her interview.
Manning was asked early in the preview, which aired on ‘Good Morning America,’ if she was ever concerned that the over 700,000 documents she leaked to Wikileaks would threaten national security.
‘No,’ said Manning, who opted not to expound upon her answer.
Chang then asked Manning to respond to her detractors, who believed that by leaking these documents Manning was potentially giving top-secret information to enemies of the United States.
‘Right, but I have a responsibility to the public,’ explained Manning.
‘You know, it’s not just about me. We all have responsibility.’
Source: Daily Mail