Before leaving office, President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of former Army soldier Chelsea (Bradley) Manning. At the time, Manning was serving a sentence of 35 years for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks in 2010. This material was subsequently published by WikiLeaks, embarrassing the US government and exposing several previously undocumented war crimes that took place in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The President’s decision to commute Manning’s sentence was extremely controversial. The verdict was made over the objection of Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, while other military and government officials quickly criticized Obama’s pronouncement. Just today, President Trump referred to Manning as an “ungrateful traitor” who should have never been released from prison on Twitter.