Metro Weekly

Trump calls Chelsea Manning “he” while defending Arpaio pardon

Trump was pointing to previous pardons to justify his decision, despite Manning not receiving a pardon

Chelsea Manning – Photo: Instagram.

President Trump misgendered Chelsea Manning during a press conference defending his pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

His pardoning of Arpaio, who once bragged about operating a prison like a “concentration camp” and openly targeted Latinos, drew widespread condemnation.

Defending his decision, Trump compared his pardon to those made by his predecessors, before mentioning Manning.

“You’ve heard the word leaker,” Trump said. “President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who leaked countless sensitive and classified documents to WikiLeaks, perhaps and others. But horrible, horrible thing that he did… [Obama] commuted the sentence and perhaps pardoned.”

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking thousands of classified documents, but served just seven after President Obama commuted her sentence earlier this year. However, Obama did not pardon Manning, contrary to Trump’s claims.

Manning has undergone a very public transition, announcing that she was transgender during her incarceration, before battling with the Department of Defense over hormone therapy and growing her hair, attempting suicide, and even going on hunger strike to force the department to approve gender confirmation surgery.

Upon her release from prison in May this year, Manning said she was looking forward to life outside of prison and “figuring things out right now — which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me.”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.