Chelsea Manning comes out as cisgender, asks Trump for clemency
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Chelsea Manning has come out as a heterosexual man and is asking President Donald Trump for clemency, sources confirmed today.
Manning, who once orchestrated the largest intelligence breach in U.S. military history, is currently in federal custody for refusing to testify against WikiLeaks and the recently arrested Julian Assange.
"As we know, Chelsea is a tremendously courageous person," said Manning's lawyer Mena Finelli. "But right now, he is the only straight man in a jail full of women. Can you imagine? It's unconscionable."
Speaking at a rally in Lima, Ohio, Trump indicated he would not entertain Manning's latest request.
"Only an idiot or a traitor would get involved with WikiLeaks. Trust me, I know," the president told his supporters amid chats of "lock her up." "And besides, Chelsea is locked up with a bunch of women. What is there to complain about?"
Meanwhile, the public reaction has been every bit as fluid as Manning's gender.
Joshua Shleemi, a former pro-Manning activist, expressed doubts about Manning's sincerity.
"We stood with Chelsea from the very start when she first betrayed her country," he said. "But we never thought Chelsea would pull a stunt like this just to appeal to the president. She turned her back on us, her allies. Chelsea is a traitor! A gender traitor!"
The military community has expressed similar sentiments.
"That traitor doesn't know the meaning of sacrifice or selfless service," said Michael Polk, who recently separated from the Marine Corps after failing a drug test during boot camp. "She never stood for anything, never risked anything for what she believed in."
While it is anyone's guess what trouble or gender will befall Chelsea Manning in the future, one thing is abundantly clear — everyone now agrees she is a traitor.