- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 25, 2017

ABC News will broadcast an interview next month with U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning, her first televised sit-down since serving seven years in military prison for leaking classified documents to the website WikiLeaks.

Manning, 29, will speak with ABC News journalist JuJu Chang for an interview set to air in June on a special edition of “Nightline,” the network said in a statement Thursday. Portions will also be shown on “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight with David Muir” and ABC News’ radio and digital platforms, according to the announcement.

The soldier tweeted Thursday morning that she was “looking forward to meeting” Ms. Chang, an Emmy award-winning journalist and “Nightline” co-anchor who initially joined ABC News in 1984.

“And I you,” Ms. Chang responded. “So highly anticipated…”

The event is expected to mark Manning’s first televised interview since her release May 17 from the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where she had been serving a 35-year prison sentence for convictions connected to supplying WikiLeaks with a trove of classified diplomatic and military documents. President Obama commuted the bulk of her remaining sentence during his last week in office.

Manning admittedly provided WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of documents acquired during her deployment as an Army intelligence analyst in the Iraq War beginning in early 2010. Seven years later, the Trump administration said last month that federal prosecutors are still pondering the possibility of criminally charging WikiLeaks’ publisher, Julian Assange, for his involvement in those leaks.

Formerly known as Bradley Manning, she came out as a trans woman a day after being sentenced in 2013 and sued the Pentagon afterwards in order to receive medically necessary treatment behind bars for gender dysphoria, formerly known as gender identity disorder. She legally changed her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning in the interim.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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