NSA Contractor Had History Of Anti-Trump Comments

17437825_1828484937393397_1642020504690753536_n1Reality Leigh Winner, of Augusta, Georgia has the unfortunate distinction of being the first leaker caught by the Trump Administration.  With members like Jason Chaffetz saying “I want to see people in handcuffs,” the 25-year-old federal contract worker could be facing some serious jail time.  In addition, she seems to fulfill the image advanced President Trump as a liberal, anti-Trump advocate within the system.  What will be interesting is the sentence sought by the Administration after high-ranking officials have been given no criminal charges or misdemeanors for removing classified information and other related charges.

Winner is charged with gathering, transmitting or losing defense information that could have been damaging to the U.S.  The indictment alleges that she took a top secret National Security Agency document, copied it and mailed it to a news organization. The organization is believed to be The Intercept.  She did not make it particularly difficult for investigators.

Winner was an employee at Pluribus International Corporation, which is based in Alexandria, Virginia. The company supplies analytical and engineering services and Winner was working at its Georgia location.

Winner was an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force and worked as a linguist. She has an impressive background and can speak Pashto, Farsi and Dari.

Winner is active on social media and posted liberal and anti-Trump material under the name Sara Winners.

In February , Winner tweeted that rapper Kanye West that he should make a shirt declaring whiteness an act of terror: “@kanyewest you should make a shirt that says, ‘being white is terrorism.’” She also indicates that she is a Sanders supporter.

I do not believe that these comments should have disqualified her for such work.  Rather the tweets will likely support the narrative advanced by Trump that he is being actively undermined by political opponents in federal agencies. However, one alleged tweet would raise security issues for someone with an active clearance:

3 Feb
Javad Zarif ✔ @JZarif
We will never use our weapons against anyone, except in self-defense. Let us see if any of those who complain can make the same statement. pic.twitter.com/xwGquvqLvb
Sara Winners @Reezlie
@JZarif There are many Americans protesting US govt aggression towards Iran. If our Tangerine in Chief declares war, we stand with you!
8:18 AM – 7 Feb 2017
231 231 Retweets 192 192 likes
Twitter Ads info and privacy

thThe FBI received the tip that led to her arrest from a news outlet.  Intercept may have shown the document to a third party for verification.  The investigators soon determined that Winner was one of six people who had access to the document in question on her computer since it was published internally.  They then found an email contact with the  news outlet on March 30 and then again March 31 from her personal GMail account.

The Intercept may face questions from whistleblowers and other groups over its protection of a source if it was the cause for this material to be revealed to the government.

She reportedly confessed.

The Espionage Act charges carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.  Usually such cases will result in sentences of one to three years.  The Obama administration prosecuted nine or ten leak-related cases — twice the number of cases brought by all previous administrations.

Here is the affidavit in support of the indictment.

125 thoughts on “NSA Contractor Had History Of Anti-Trump Comments”

  1. Winner was an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force and worked as a linguist. She has an impressive background and can speak Pashto, Farsi and Dari.

    Let her spend 10 years in jail learning another language

  2. The person who signed off on this young lady’s security clearance should be transferred to a job where a primary requirement is to ask the question: Do you want fries with this?

  3. Turly’s question is what this person will get in terms of jail time and what those higher up get. But the frustration bubble of puss blew this blog to bits. The pent up anger and downright angst spells a downward spiral that many simply can’t accept. If this gal goes to jail, then?????

      1. Yes Trump’s implosion does spell progress but perhaps more accurately, relief. The only questions left are how long will the idiot last and how stupid will he get. The rest is America’s shame.

        1. Why is it a shame?
          It’s truly a shame that the only person to was anointed to challenge him was HRC.
          The whole idea that Trump is constantly scolded by the media and the talking heads elite because that’s NOT the way it’s been done for decades crowd is EXACTLY what’s wrong.
          The elites don’t get it that Americans are tired and sick to their stomachs of the way things are done and Trump is actually refreshing compared to the smell of abuse.
          He’s not an idiot. We just expect too much from one person.
          We are truly a Goldilocks of a nation and we will get it right.
          Your derisive cynicism is exactly what the elite stays quo will use to get things back to THEIR order my friend.
          Be careful what you wish for.
          Try driving with the windows down and the radio off once in a while.

        2. Does Professor Turley allow vicious personal attacks and patently erroneous defamation on this blog site?

          President Trump saved America from “Crooked” Hillary Clinton and Obama’s disastrous Paris Climate Agreement, repealed Obamacare, will slash government agencies and taxes as soon as Ryan and McConnell wake up and realize the republican won and, last but not least, President Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court…extra added bonus; fewer illegal crossings of the southern border.

          There is much to come as President Trump ends the half-foreign Obama’s global surrender and Makes America Great Again!

  4. This whole “Russia” farce reminds me of the marketing campaigns of “Pet Rocks”

    and bottled water.

    I mean, you can go out into the countryside and get all the free rocks and water you want,

    which means the marketers are selling “nothing” for a whole lot of money. How clever!

    The “Russia” farce is a bunch of nothing with a huuuge price for the nation.

    Alternatively, the Obama liberal “deep state” is conducting a treasonous

    coup d’ etat in America as Obama-Globalist collusion.

    1. Are Trump and Kushner globalists? Their crooked businesses operate worldwide.

      1. Let me check to see if President Trump upholds American sovereignty in contrast to Obama’s one-world, global collectivism, AKA globalism and communism.

        Seems like crooked people are in jail not the Oval Office…wait, I forgot about the Clinton Crime Family, huh?

            1. it would be the beginning of the end for Trump.

              Actually I agree… even as I think John Nichols is made of stale, cheap pastry dough.

      2. Your comment makes me wonder if you know what a globalist is, Mike Kelly. Just because someone has business interests in other countries, that does not mean they are in favor of a one world order.

        1. Trump wants to trade internationally for profit.

          Mike Kelley wants to eliminate American SOVEREIGNTY

          and place America under the rule of a collectivist, redistributionist,

          one-world government without borders.

  5. Also, if she published a document that was only available to 6 people, then it was not the Intercept’s fault that she was caught. She released a document that identified her. Whether the Intercept published it, or whether this was caught during its vetting of the info, she was doomed. Journalists are supposed to verify their information. It’s only in recent years that mere innuendo is taken as fact, and leads to destruction.

    If any other sources complain to the news outlet, they should refer them to Winner, who was foolish enough to release incriminating information that they were required to verify.

    That is why whistleblowers are usually careful not to reveal information that will get back to them.

  6. I am deeply disturbed by the weaponization of government agencies against conservatives. This is wrong. You do not use your security clearance to deliberately undermine a president, or even a private citizen, because you disagree with their politics. This is the stuff of fascism…making a government a one party state that punishes those who disagree. The Hard Left is really gripping the roots of Fascism which were so entwined with Progressivism in its early days. There is a reason why Fascists and Progressives eagerly exchanged ideas across the pond. The idea of government controlling the people, “for their own good” and often based on scientific principles, is abhorrent to basic human freedoms, which Progressives oppose. That is how we got Eugenics, “genetic hygiene” forced upon the people for their own good and based on the latest and greatest scientific theory. Forced lobotomies were the scientific craze for a while. That’s also how we got genetic race inferiority theory, too, and the subsequent laws around it. It is shocking, the evil that can be done “for your own good” when the government gets to define that good.

    Progressives still claim they are toiling for our own good. But when someone, anyone, tries to take your rights away from you, for whatever lofty goal, fight that effort with everything you have.

    Ms Winner used her position with the NSA to abuse her security clearance, and damage the government. She did it “for our own good”, fighting “the good fight”, to justify viewpoint discrimination. She took it upon herself to decide that the voters who chose a (kind of) Republican President were wrong, and she was going to fight that Republic because she knew better what was good for us. Her efforts try to take the choice of who runs our country out of the hands of voters. That is what everyone is doing who is trying to sabotage the Administration. There is using your Free Speech to criticize the government, declaring when the POTUS goes astray. And he does give good fodder for that meal, doesn’t he? And then there are attempts to overthrow the government, or sabotage it at every turn. That’s not anarchy. That’s refusing to acknowledge an election when it doesn’t go your way, and trying to do a coup by a thousand cuts. Vote for their candidate or they will make you pay…just like an Fascist.

    This is wrong. And I do not want the GOP to become convinced that this is just how the game is played, and follow suit. Then we would be like France during the Napoleonic Wars. They hated the royals! Guillotined the royals and the rich. They loved Napoleon! Guillotined his opponents. They hated Napoleon! Guillotined his supporters!

    And they wonder why Trump would want to replace anyone and everyone he could out of concern that the government agencies had become weaponized against anyone who wasn’t Liberal.

    1. As the Wall St Journal said today Trump’ s biggest enemy is Trump.

  7. Daily Beast
    WikiLeaks Declares War on The Intercept

    “The FBI says a reporter led them to an NSA leaker. Julian Assange says that person, whom he suspects is an Intercept reporter, is a “menace” to sources, journalists, and democracy.”

    The leakers are mad at the leakers who leak leaks about their leaks.

    Who can discern the misinformation from the disinformation?

    The CIA said Oswald killed Kennedy after the CIA ran Oswald for years.

    Well then, who killed MLK and RFK?

    It’s all so confusing…by design.

    Alas, the inmates have taken over the asylum.

  8. Do they have a 19th Amendment and super-equal affirmative action in Russia?

  9. Oliver Stone interviewed Putin.

    You gotta love this guy:

    Vladimir Putin –

    “I am not a woman, so I don’t have bad days,” he tells Stone while giving a tour of the Kremlin’s gilded throne room. “I am not trying to insult anyone. That’s just the nature of things. There are certain natural cycles.”

    By contrast, the American Founders revealed the character and abundance of “natural” and inalienable freedoms, accruing to citizens while limiting government, which the Imperial Judiciary, as directed by its liberal democrat overseers, has endeavored mightily to deprive Americans of.

    It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.

  10. “Lawyers, Guns And Money”

    Well, I went home with the waitress
    The way I always do
    How was I to know
    She was with the Russians, too

    I was gambling in Havana
    I took a little risk
    Send lawyers, guns and money
    Dad, get me out of this

    I’m the innocent bystander
    Somehow I got stuck
    Between the rock and the hard place
    And I’m down on my luck
    And I’m down on my luck
    And I’m down on my luck

    Now I’m hiding in Honduras
    I’m a desperate man
    Send lawyers, guns and money
    The shit has hit the fan

  11. I would also hope that there will be some punishment for her employers as well.
    Especially post Snowden.
    Again, what was a 25 year old linguist doing with access to this data?
    Raises Brezhnev’s mighty eyebrows to me.

  12. (music-)

    … and how was I to know…?
    She was with the Russians too!

  13. Yes, the newspaper was the Intercept. The reporter is named, Matthew Cole. Matt has harmed a source at least once before, John Kiriakou, who exposed part of the US torture system.

    This sounds like a false flag operation to me. There are so many things which are suspicious about the entire episode, it will take time sorting it all out.

    The Intercept gave copies of the document, a document which does not have anything more than speculation about Ruskies, which we have heard many times, no raw data, to the NSA for verification. If you look over at wikileaks twitter there is a post explaining why what the Intercept did is completely irresponsible and why they should have known not to do that. There is also an explanation for how the info was traced.

    As others have pointed out, Russia sure is stupid. It didn’t go after any of the battleground states at all!

    If she did legitimately leak the document in good faith, what the intercept did was unforgivable. However, it is possible Ms. Winner did not leak the document in good faith. If that is true, she won’t have much of a problem with the authorities.

    1. The issue of battle ground states really wasn’t so clear. Florida and Ohio in previous years. If you knew Michigan and Wisconsin were in play then could I possibly bother you for a series of six numbers between 1 and 60?

    2. If she did legitimately leak the document in good faith, what the intercept did was unforgivable. However, it is possible Ms. Winner did not leak the document in good faith. If that is true, she won’t have much of a problem with the authorities.

      Beggin yur pardin Miss, but WTF? The leaking (unauthorized release) of classified information should NEVER be measured by whether it was done in good faith.

      1. Olly,

        We have an entirely corrupt govt. The only way we can get information on what this govt. is doing is through leaks. Yes, it has come to that point in our history.

        People who leak in good faith, to inform the public may unknowingly leak disinformation. They might be set up. That is why a leak needs original documents and examination.

        Here I am saying that she may be part of the effort to leak disinformation, something the govt. (and factions within the govt.) engages in all the time.

        We disagree that the govt. should be allowed to work in secret to perform illegal acts. I am all for exposing the illegal acts of this and any other govt. As there are very few avenues to expose these heinous crimes against our citizens and people of other nations, we rely on leakers. I am grateful to leakers who act in good faith to expose the crimes of our govt. I am not grateful to the govt. and it’s leakers who leak as a form of propaganda.

        Which of these is the case here is unclear to me. However, anyone who leaks wrongdoing by the powerful should be protected. The intercept utterly failed to do that.

        1. We have an entirely corrupt govt. The only way we can get information on what this govt. is doing is through leaks.

          I apologize in advance but that statement needs to be edited.

          We have an entirely corrupt govt. The only way we can get information on what this govt. is doing is through hiring corruptible employees.

          Do you not see how completely insane that idea is. What’s next, we need to waterboard our intel operatives to learn who is waterboarding our enemies? Yes, the political class is corrupt, but you don’t fight corruption with more corruption. That’s using the ends to justify the means…which is exactly what this corrupt, utilitarian approach to constitutional governance has brought us.

          1. No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.


        2. Thank you Jill for giving a clear explanation. We need transparency in our government. If our government had that quality maybe trillions of tax dollars would not be lost and never investigated. We are a very young republic. We are still learning how to govern ourselves. We need to know the errors we do in order we do not commit them again.

          1. If our government had that quality maybe trillions of tax dollars would not be lost and never investigated. We are a very young republic. We are still learning how to govern ourselves.

            How we should govern ourselves was never a question. We are not learning how, we are unlearning what we used to know. Some would call that progress. The most asinine prescription to uncorrupt a corrupt government is to fill it with corruptible people so as to identify the other corrupt people, thereby eliminating corruption.

            Yeah, that will work.

  14. Top Secret: A clear & present danger. Tortoise figures out how to get into White House.

  15. If the analysis is to be believed and the Russians did in fact tamper with the results, one of the best comments I have read about this whole thing was basically something like this.

    Ok, now we can prove Hillary didn’t win the popular vote either.

      1. Ok here is proper attribution from The Intercept’s comment section:
        Voice from Europe
        June 6 2017, 3:21 a.m.
        Thank you, The Intercept, now we finally know how Hillary won the popular vote.

  16. TREASON….TRAITOR. Put this little Socialist behind bars and let her next encounter with “orange” be her prison jumpsuit!

    1. Maybe she will meet up with Trump, Kushner, Flynn, Manafort, Sessions and Stone in the pen.

  17. My question is: What was she doing with access to this data?
    She’s a linguist that speaks languages relating to Afghanistan and Iran.
    I would think access to the data she stole would been out of her particular purview.
    Especially someone only 25, she probably did her 4 years after college so even if she finished early she’s still a newbie.

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