Reality Leigh Winner, the National Security Agency contractor accused of leaking classified information, allegedly wrote that she wanted to "burn the White House down" in a notebook seized from her home, prosecutors said Thursday.
Federal prosecutors have charged Winner, 25, with accessing a classified NSA memo dealing with Russian efforts to interfere with the U.S. 2016 election and sending it to The Intercept, an online news outlet that published the information. There was no evidence the attempted cyberattack on a voting software supplier affected votes, according to Time.
Winner’s inflammatory remarks were revealed during her appearance in court in Augusta, Georgia, NBC News reported. She pleaded not guilty to one count of "willful retention and transmission of national defense information."
Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Winner was denied bail pending trial and led away in shackles.
Federal agents discovered two notebooks after raiding her Augusta home, NBC News reported. In one, she wrote, "I want to burn the White House down," according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Solari.
She also wrote about moving to Nepal or Kurdistan, and listed the names of several al Qaeda and Taliban leaders in one of the notebooks.
Although Winner’s arrest stemmed from one document sent to The Intercept, prosecutors suggest she had plans to leak more classified information, according to NBC News.
A recorded conversation between Winner and her mother revealed that she said, "Mom, those documents. I screwed up." Solari said her reference to the documents in plural could mean she may have stolen other classified information.
Winner told her mother that she wanted to "go nuclear with the press" if she didn’t get bond, her mother, Bille Winner-Davis, admitted in court under questioning, ABC News reported.
Solari said Winner admitted she leaked the top-secret document "to a particular news agency she admired."
Winner was the first person charged with leaking classified information by the Trump administration.
"Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.