Reality Winner accused of classified leak

Before she was charged with leaking US government secrets to a reporter, Reality Leigh Winner shared sometimes scathing opinions on President Donald Trump and his policies for the whole world to see.


The 25-year-old US government contractor has worked since February in Augusta, Georgia, for an unnamed federal agency where she had access to sensitive documents.

But the secretive nature of her job didn’t stop Winner from speaking freely on politics and other topics on social media accounts accessible to anyone.

She posted on Facebook three months ago that climate change is a more important issue than health care “since not poisoning an entire population seems to be more in line with ‘health’ care, and not the disease care system that people voted for a soulless ginger orangutan to ‘fix.’ “

Winner remains locked up on federal charges that she made copies of classified documents containing top-secret material and mailed them to an online news organisation. She is scheduled to appear before a federal judge on Thursday.

Winner’s mother Billie Winner-Davis said she was stunned when her daughter called over the weekend, saying the FBI had come to her home and she was being arrested. Winner asked if her mother and stepfather, who live in Texas, would travel to Georgia to help feed her cat.

“Mainly she was concerned about her cat,” Winner-Davis said.

Court documents accuse Winner of mailing a classified report written on or about May 5 to an unnamed news organisation. The website The Intercept reported on Monday it had obtained a classified National Security Agency report dated May 5 suggesting Russian hackers attacked at least one US voting software supplier days before last year’s presidential election.

Winner’s lawyer would not confirm whether she was being charged with leaking the NSA report cited by The Intercept.