Celebrities React: President Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning Sentence

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President Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning

By Shari Weiss |

President Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning

(Getty Images)

Celebrities are reacting to President Obama commuting Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence. See stars’ reaction tweets below.

On Tuesday, just a few days before the end of his presidency, Obama commuted the sentences of Manning and more than 200 other prisoners. The former Army intelligence officer is in the midst of a 35-year sentence for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks. But now, after serving just six years of her sentence, Manning will be released from prison in May.

Obama’s decision has sparked much debate on social media, and a number of famous names are among those weighing in. Katie Couric actually revealed, “Was just on the phone at the very moment @chasestrangio, Chelsea Manning’s attorney, heard the news and exclaimed, ‘Oh my god, she will be freed on May 17th.’ @chasestrangio also said ‘If you had told me a month ago President Obama was even considering this, I wouldn’t have believed it.'”

Filmmaker and activist Michael Moore appears overjoyed by the act of clemency. “THANK YOU President Obama for commuting the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning!!! She will be released in May – instead of in 2045!! THANK U,” he tweeted. He went on, “Chelsea Manning risked EVERYTHING & has languished in prison for 7yrs cause she chose 2 reveal documents about the lies that led to Iraq War.”

Moore added, “I’m honored to have served on the committee to free Chelsea Manning and to raise funds for her legal defense. Thanks to all of u who helped!” John Cusack observed, “Whatever the motive the person who exposed a war crime is free — a wonderful thing.” He went on to question, though, “Why are we thanking not demanding obama pardon Snowden & others?”

Jesse Ventura similarly said, “President Obama did the right thing with Chelsea Manning’s sentence today. Now, how about pardoning Snowden?” Mark Ruffalo declared, “Bravo! @POTUS for commutation of Chelsea Manning.” Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace, who is transgender like Manning, posted, “This is absolutely incredible. Thank you @POTUS #freechelseamanning.” And Albert Brooks cracked, “I just can’t wait for Donald Trump’s Chelsea Manning tweet.”

But this was no laughing matter to some well-known conservatives. Chuck Woolery commented, “#Obama just released #BradlyManning, A convicted #traitor. Of course now that he is Chelsea Manning? I guess he/she didn’t do it.” The TV host said in another tweet, “#Obama has just said it without saying it. Leaking military doc’s are OK? But leaking Democrat doc’s not so much.”

Ann Coulter also remarked, “A pardon for Chelsea Manning, nothing for Gen. Petraeus. It’s not too late: Impeach Obama!” She went on to complain, “Manning leaks military secrets: forgiven! Hillary allows state dept 2 B hacked: Make her Pres! DNC allows itself 2 B hacked: Trump’s fault!” Other tweets from Coulter made pointed references to the LGBT community and gender reassignment surgery.

Among politicians, John McCain and Paul Ryan have also voiced objections to President Obama’s commutation. Former presidential candidate Jill Stein, however, tweeted, “Congratulations to @xychelsea for being freed in May and thank you, @POTUS!” Obama will likely be asked about his decision during his final press conference on Wednesday.

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