Reality Winner, the 25-year-old National Security Agency contractor charged with leaking information related to Russian hacking attempts during the 2016 election, told investigators she hid classified documents in her pantyhose, according to an FBI interview transcript obtained by Politico.
The NSA contractor, a senior airman and cryptologic linguist, was working for Pluribus International Contractor at the time she printed documents from her NSA office at Fort Gordon, Georgia and sent them to the left-leaning website The Intercept.
Although Winner initially denied her involvement in the Intercept reporting, she eventually told the FBI she managed to evade NSA screening and leave the building with the classified material by folding it “in half in [her] pantyhose.”
“Let’s be straight, there’s little to no security on documents. Nobody pats you down,” Winner said to FBI agents.
During her exchange with investigators, Winner dismissed the notion that she was “trying to be a whistle-blower,” saying “I wasn’t trying to be a Snowden or anything.” For Winner, a role at the NSA presented a unique opportunity to participate in one of the country’s leading political issues:
“I felt really hopeless…seeing that information that had been contested back and forth, back and forth in the public domain for so long, trying to figure out, like, with everything else that keeps getting released and keeps getting leaked — why isn’t this getting…why isn’t this out there? Why can’t this be public?”
Winner’s remarks suggest a political motivation. She described her frustration with her employer’s choice of setting the office’s TVs to Fox News. “I’ve filed formal complaints about them having Fox News on, you know. Uh, just at least, for God’s sake, put Al Jazeera on, or a slideshow with people’s pets. I’ve tried everything to get that changed.”
Winner’s social media history shows support for left-wing icons like Bernie Sanders and Michael Moore, according to the Daily Caller. She even took to Facebook to call President Donald Trump a “piece of sh*t.”
But in Winner’s interview with the FBI, she also comes across as dissatisfied with her work, which may have contributed to her decision to leak classified documents to the media.
“I had, you know, seven, eight months left of a job that didn’t mean anything to me because it’s Iran, and I’m a Pashto linguist. Like, what am I doing translating Farsi?”
Winner is currently in jail awaiting the resolution of her case. She faces up to nine years in prison in convicted.
Trump supporters on social media are making their feelings towards Winner known.
Reality Winner: I totally had to commit espionage because my NSA office had Fox News on and I had complained pic.twitter.com/D3Wr9Ahbh1
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) September 28, 2017
— Alexander Peresviet (@AlexPeresviet) September 28, 2017
Reality Winner allegedly stuffed NSA report in her pantyhose. This act sheds new light on the term ‘leaker.’ I know. Eww…#ThursdayThoughts
— Tosca Austen (@ToscaAusten) September 28, 2017
The fact that the NSA would seriously hire someone named Reality Winner and expect good results shows they are a joke. Idiots
— S bean (@Beansauced) September 28, 2017