WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning confirms Senate bid

15 Jan 2018


Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, confirmed Sunday that she's running in Maryland for a Senate seat.

Chelsea Manning  

"Yup, we're running for Senate," Manning tweeted three days after she filed her statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.

The tweet also included a campaign video indicating her intention to run in the 2018 Maryland Democratic primary and was followed by a tweet seeking donations to her campaign.

She is running for the seat held by two-term Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin.

The 71-second video weaves together images of white supremacists holding tiki torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as protesters clashing with police elsewhere.

"We live in trying times . times of fear . of suppression . of hate," Manning said.

The montage shifts to the US Capitol and President Donald Trump sitting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats.

"We don't need more or better leaders," Manning continued. "We need someone willing to fight. We need to stop asking them to give us our rights. They won't support us. They won't compromise."

The video also shows Manning holding a rose and ends with her saying, "You're damn right we got this."

The 30-year-old Manning was known as Bradley Manning when arrested in 2010 for leaking the classified documents to WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website.

Manning came out as transgender after being sentenced to 35 years in prison. Former President Barack Obama granted Manning clemency before leaving office last year. She was released from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in May.

However, Manning has yet to file for the primary with the state elections board, which she must do in person by 27 February, according to the board's website.

Cardin also has not filed. But campaign finance reports show that his organisation had nearly $2 million cash on hand in late September.

The Washington Post first reported Saturday that Manning has filed to run in Maryland for the seat of Democratic Sen Ben Cardin.

When Manning was released from Fort Leavenworth, she told the AP in an email that she was eager to define her future - but made no mention of politics.

Manning was born in Oklahoma and had planned to move to Maryland, where she has an aunt. She has been registered to vote at the apartment in North Bethesda since mid-August, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections.

Her recent move would not affect a Senate bid. To run for that office, a person must be at least 30 years old, a US citizen for nine years and an inhabitant of the state at election time, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections. A felony conviction does not appear to preclude a run.

Since leaving prison, Manning has become known for controversial tweets, often accompanied with a series of emojis and the hashtag #WeGotThis. Manning recently tweeted out the message ''f---k the police'' on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, along with the hashtag #DisarmThePolice.

Manning has also referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement as ''literally the new Gestapo.''

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