Chelsea Manning: Being disinvited from Harvard is as honorable as receiving fellowship
© Instagram/Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning said Sunday that Harvard University’s decision to withdraw its invitation for her to serve as a visiting fellow at the college was as big an honor as being named a fellow in the first place.

Manning, who served seven years of a 35-year sentence for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks before her sentence was commuted by President Obama, said Harvard choosing to disinvite her was a sign of a police state, The Associated Press reported.

She said the backlash and decision to disinvite her showed that is was impossible to have political discussions at higher-education institutions.

"I'm not ashamed of being disinvited," Manning said. "I view that just as much of an honored distinction as the fellowship itself."


She made the comments at one of her first public appearances since her release at The Nantucket Project in Nantucket, Mass., where she also defended her choice to leak the documents as "an ethical decision."

Manning was named as a visiting fellow at Harvard last week before the university revoked the offer after facing major backlash for the decision.

"I apologize to her and to the many concerned people from whom I have heard today for not recognizing upfront the full implications of our original invitation," Douglas Elmendorf, dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, said in a statement.

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell resigned from his post as a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, and CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoIs America headed toward war? Is America headed toward war? Polar bear spotted hundreds of miles south of normal hunting grounds MORE canceled a talk at the university over the invitation to Manning.