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Obama defends commuting Chelsea Manning’s sentence

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WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Wednesday defended the decision to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence, saying that she served a “tough prison sentence.”

Obama said at his final White House news conference he looked at the particulars of the case the same way he had any other person whose sentence he had commuted.

“I felt that in light of all the circumstances, that commuting her sentence was entirely appropriate,” Obama said from the briefing room.

On Wednesday, Vice President-elect Mike pence said Obama’s decision to cummite Chelsea manning’s sentence was a “mistake,” and is calling the convicted leaker a “traitor.”

Pence says in an interview airing Wednesday night with Fox News’ Brett Baier that Manning’s actions compromised national security, endangered American personnel and compromised individuals in Afghanistan who were cooperating with U.S. forces.

The former Army intelligence analyst asked Obama to commute her 35-year sentence for giving classified government and military documents to the WikiLeaks website.

Manning was known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest and is more than six years into the sentence. She is to be released from prison in May.