Parents of NSA Leaker Reality Winner Speak Out: ‘She Was Afraid She Was Going to Disappear’


Yesterday, 25-year-old federal contractor Reality Leigh Winner was arrested for providing classified information from the National Security Agency to The Intercept. The document mailed by Winner to the news outlet suggested that Russia attempted to hack at least one American voting software manufacturer prior to the 2016 election.

In the wake of Winner’s arrest, CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed the Air Force veteran’s parents, mother Billie Winner-Davis and stepfather Gary Davis. After they had told him FBI agents took their daughter by surprise and were armed, Cooper asked Winner-Davis if Reality Winner admitted to them that she had leaked a classified doc, as she reportedly told prosecutors.

“She hasn’t admitted it to us at all,” Winner-Davis stated. “What she told me was that she was terrified. She was terrified of the situation and she did tell me also that she was afraid she was going to disappear.”

She continued, “That they were going to make her disappear. She felt like she needed to give them what they were asking for at the time. And so she was terrified.”

Later on, Cooper asked if they were aware what Winner did for a living, had access to classified information and if she had been thinking about doing anything like this.

“No…you know, for obvious reasons, she didn’t share what she did,” Winne-Davis noted. “I didn’t know what company she worked for. I didn’t know anything.”

After Winner was charged for leaking classified info, The Intercept’s editors came under fire over the lack of protection it provided their source for its story.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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