comScore CNN’s Jeff Zeleny: ‘Hard to Imagine’ Obama Commuting Manning’s Sentence if She Wasn’t Transitioning

CNN’s Jeff Zeleny: ‘Hard to Imagine’ Obama Commuting Manning’s Sentence if She Wasn’t Transitioning

Earlier this afternoon, the political world was surprised to hear that President Barack Obama decided to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence. Manning was serving a 35-year sentence for stealing and leaking government documents to WikiLeaks. However, she will now be released in May after serving roughly seven years.

Following the news, CNN gathered a panel to discuss and senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny wondered if Manning’s status as a transsexual woman who is in the middle of transitioning had an impact on Obama’s decision.

“I think the question this president — the White House — will have to answer here, and I think it’s an important one,” Zeleny stated. “How much was the personal story of Chelsea Manning involved in this?”

Explaining that there was outcry from the left on her situation and that Manning was having a tough time in prison, Zeleny asked if the “outcome would be the same” if that wasn’t in play.

“Without that, it’s hard to imagine, I think, this president would have done that, he added.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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