Pompeo cancels Harvard talk over hiring of Chelsea Manning
CIA Director Mike Pompeo has canceled a planned talk at the Harvard Kennedy School after the Ivy League school hired Chelsea Manning as a visiting fellow.
Pompeo sent a letter to the school on Thursday informing them he was canceling his speech over Harvard’s hiring of Manning, whom he called an “American traitor,” NBC News reported.
“Ms. Manning stands against everything the brave men and women I serve alongside stand for,” Pompeo wrote.
“Let me be clear, this has nothing to do with Ms. Manning’s identity as a transgender person. It has everything to do with her identity as a traitor to the United States of America and my loyalty to the officers of the CIA.”
Pompeo, who is an alumni of Harvard Law School, said he was “saddened” over the school’s hiring of Manning.
“I believe it is shameful for Harvard to place its stamp of approval upon her treasonous actions,” Pompeo wrote.
Manning was convicted in 2013 of releasing confidential military and State Department documents, but her 35-year sentence was commuted by then-President Obama to seven years, dating from the beginning of her confinement in 2010.
Harvard announced this week that Manning, alongside former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and former Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Took, would speak as part of its 2017-18 Visiting Fellows program.
Manning’s talk will center around “issues of LGBTQ identity in the military.”
Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell also announced Thursday that he was resigning from his position as a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, citing Manning’s hiring as his reason.
“Unfortunately, I cannot be part of an organization — The Kennedy School — that honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information, Ms. Chelsea Manning, by inviting her to be a Visiting Fellow at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics,” Morell said in a letter.