- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2019

John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer convicted of leaking classified information, asked President Trump for a pardon after catching his attention Wednesday evening.

Kiriakou, who pleaded guilty in 2012 to intentionally disclosing information identifying a covert agent, appealed to Mr. Trump for a pardon after the president mentioned him on Twitter.

Mr. Trump had tweeted a quote from Kiriakou that the former CIA officer had said during an appearance on Fox News about the intelligence community whistleblower who filed the complaint that sparked Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry into the president last month.

“I don’t think it’s a Whistleblower at all,” Mr. Trump quoted Kiriakou. “This is an insult to real Whistleblowers. Actual Whistleblowers go on to have their whole lives upended.”

“Thank you, @realDonaldTrump,” Kiriakou responded to the president’s tweet. “Please pardon me!”

The White House did not immediately return a message requesting comment.

Kiriakou, 55, first made waves after he gave an interview to ABC News in 2007 in which he disclosed the CIA’s use of waterboarding on foreign detainees. He was charged several years later in connection with leaking information about two CIA agents to the media and ultimately entered a plea agreement that resulted in him spending near two years behind bars.

Democrats in the House of Representatives initiated impeachment proceedings against the president last month amid revelations about a whistleblower complaint filed by a member of the U.S. intelligence community. Mr. Trump and his defenders have since sought to discredit the whistleblower on a regular basis.

Kiriakou, as quoted by Mr. Trump, also said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that the person responsible for the complaint is not a whistleblower, but an “anonymous source for the Democratic Staff in the House.” Mr. Trump’s tweet repeating his comment was retweeted more than 19,000 times in 18 hours

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