ATLANTA – A former government contractor who leaked a classified report on Russian hacking is thanking President Donald Trump for tweeting about her case.

In a Thursday telephone interview from a Georgia jail, Reality Winner told “CBS This Morning” that Trump’s tweet was a “breath of fresh air” and it made her laugh. Trump tweeted Aug. 24 that Winner’s crime is “small potatoes” compared with “what Hillary Clinton did.”

Prosecutors have said Winner once wrote in a notebook of her desire to “burn the White House down.”

She has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for mailing the classified material to a news outlet. Prosecutors say it’s the longest sentence ever for a federal crime involving leaks to the news media.

Asked whether she regretted the leak, she replied: “Yes, deeply.”


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