McCain responds to President's decision to commute Chelsea Manning's sentence

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has issued a statement on President Obama's decision to commute Chelsea Manning's sentence.

In the statement, Sen. McCain wrote:

President Obama's commutation of Chelsea Manning's sentence is a grave mistake that I fear will encourage further acts of espionage and undermine military discipline. It also devalues the courage of real whistleblowers who have used proper channels to hold our government accountable.

It is a sad, yet perhaps fitting commentary on President Obama's failed national security policies that he would commute the sentence of an individual that endangered the lives of American troops, diplomats, and intelligence sources by leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive government documents to Wikileaks, a virulently anti-American organization that was a tool of Russia's recent interference in our elections.

Thousands of Americans have given their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq upholding their oaths and defending this nation. Chelsea Manning broke her oath and made it more likely that others would join the ranks of her fallen comrades. Her prison sentence may end in a few months' time, but her dishonor will last forever.

Manning, whose sentence was commuted by President Obama on Tuesday, was serving a 35-year sentence for disclosing nearly 270,000 classified or unclassified documents to WikiLeaks.