President Donald Trump, through his plans to pardon I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, is putting the idea out that people can be pardoned "for serious crimes against national security," Valerie Plame Wilson, the former CIA agent whose name was leaked in the scandal involving Libby, said on Friday.
"For Donald Trump, this has everything to do with his future," Wilson told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "What he's putting out there is the idea that you can pardon people for serious crimes against national security."
She said he believes the president has an "audience of three, maybe more" for his plans to pardon Libby: Former campaign manager Paul Manafort; former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner."
She also criticized Trump's attacks on the intelligence community, saying that she did not think her "contempt" of him could go lower.
"My former colleagues and the intelligence community, these are people who truly serve their country each and every day without recognition and how he has gone after those who have served his country when his own history of deferments when asked to, you know, when he was eligible for the draft is really shameful," said Wilson. "I find what he just tweeted out this morning about Comey to be absolutely shameful."
In 2007, Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to investigators, but he was not accused of blowing Wilson's cover. Instead, he was convicted of lying about it during the subsequent investigation.
Former President George W. Bush commuted Libby's sentence, but would not pardon him, sparking a with Cheney.
The charges dated back to July 2003, when Wilson's name was leaked to the press after her husband, Joe Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador, accused the Bush administration in an opinion piece for The New York Times of exaggerating the threat posed by Iraq.
According to Bush critics, Libby was part of an effort to punish Wilson, who the CIA had sent to Niger in February 2002 to probe claims that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium for nuclear bombs.
However, Wilson on Friday said the matter was no longer about her name being leaked as that matter was settled years ago. Trump, though, has decided to "go where George W. Bush did not," she said.
"Scooter Libby, as you noted, was convicted of serious crimes. The special prosecutor in that case, Patrick Fitzgerald, said there was a cloud over the office of the vice president," said Wilson. "George W. Bush looked seriously into the matter and he decided not to issue a pardon. Apparently, Dick Cheney, his vice president, felt otherwise and badgered him, literally badgered him up until the very last day of W's presidency and created a deep rift between the two men that has not been repaired, yet."
Trump's plans to pardon Libby, she added, are "yet another indication of Donald Trump's deep disrespect for those who served and sacrificed for this country, something he hasn't done a lot of."
Wilson told the program that she loved her career in the CIA as a covert operations officer and was proud to serve her country.
She noted that her husband, in his opinion piece, attacked the idea that the Bush White House gave the order to attack Iraq because of the imminent threat of nuclear war.
"The Bush White House was not happy with that and, as a result, the political payback was my covert identity was betrayed by senior White House officials," said Wilson. "That began a years' long character assassination campaign against both of us. We were called traitors, liars, members of Congress called me a glorified secretary, you know, because I'm a girl, I guess. This ended in 2007 or that aspect of it with Scooter Libby's conviction by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald who, ironically, was appointed by [James] Comey."
She added that she does not believe Libby was alone in leaking her name, as there was "clearly a White House conspiracy" after her husband's opinion piece went against the Bush administration's narrative.
"I find the fact that we are revisiting this matter that has been settled to be really curious right now because this is in the past," said Wilson.
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