A woman accused of leaking classified information on Russia’s role in spreading misinformation during the 2016 election told FBI agents that her frustrations over Fox News prompted her to print out an intelligence report, stuff it in her pantyhose, and sneak it out of the National Security Agency office where she was working.
Reality Winner told FBI agents she had repeatedly complained about Fox News being on the TV at the NSA office she worked in, according to a transcript of the interview submitted to court on Wednesday, Politico reported.
According to the transcript, the 25-year-old linguist told the FBI she asked that the channel be changed to Al Jazeera — a news organization that has come under scrutiny for acting as pro-Islamist agitprop.
“I’ve filed formal complaints about them having Fox News on,” Winner told FBI agents in the transcript. “Just, at least, for G-d’s sake, put Al Jazeera on, or a slideshow with people’s pets. I’ve tried everything to get that changed.”
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 28, 2017
In the transcripts Winner said she “wasn’t trying to be a Snowden or anything” when she allegedly decided to leak the classified information to the press. She said she thought it should be public information, regardless of the consequences.
“I saw the article and was like, I don’t understand why this isn’t a thing,” she said. “It made me very mad.”
“I guess I just didn’t care about myself at that point,” Winner said. “Yeah, I screwed up royally.”
When the FBI agent asked if she understood her actions would compromise intelligence sources and methods, she said she “figured it didn’t matter anyway.”
“If they hadn’t been already, then yes,” she said. “Honestly, uh, I just figured that whatever we were using had already been compromised, and that this report was just going to be like a — one drop in the bucket.”
You can read the transcript of the full interview here.