President Barack Obama's decision to commute the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning is a reversal of his previous eight years of going after leakers, CNN's Jake Tapper said.
"President Obama has used the Espionage Act to go after leakers more than every other president in history combined," Tapper said Tuesday on "The Lead." "This has been a hallmark of his administration."
Many in the media have repeatedly objected to Obama's stance, but he has stuck by it, Tapper noted. "And here he is commuting the sentence of one of the most notorious leakers."
Manning, who served in the Army as Private Bradley Manning, was convicted of passing secrets to WikiLeaks that exposed national security secrets and put American lives at risk.
"You could argue Chelsea Manning did it for a good reason, to expose war crimes, or whatever case you want to make," Tapper said, but added, "It certainly contradicts the last eight years of policy in terms of leaking."
The White House at the time was "outraged" at Manning, Tapper said. "They thought that those of us in the press who were reading these WikiLeaks, that we were doing something wrong by reading them."
Manning has served six years of a 35 years sentence. Obama's commutation will free Manning on May 17.
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