Chelsea Manning, the former US army private who was imprisoned for passing information to WikiLeaks, has confirmed she will run for a US Senate seat.
A federal election filing, made on Thursday, showed Manning’s intention to run in the November elections as a Democrat. On Sunday, the former intelligence analyst tweeted: “Yup, we’re running for Senate #WeGotThis.”
Manning’s entry to the Democratic primary will range her against Ben Cardin, the senior senator from Maryland who has served since 2007.
The senior Democrat on the Senate foreign affairs committee, Cardin has emerged as a key party voice on investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, in which WikiLeaks released thousands of emails belonging to the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
In 2012, facing a primary challenge from an African American state senator and seven other candidates, Cardin won 74% of the vote.
A representative for Manning did not respond to a request for comment.
The video tweeted by Manning began with scenes of protest and police action and a voiceover that said: “We live in trying times. Times of fear, of suppression, of hate. We don’t need more or better leaders. We need someone willing to fight.”
The video then switched to pictures of Congress in session and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and minority leader Chuck Schumer meeting Donald Trump at the White House.
“We need to stop asking them to give us our rights,” the voiceover said. “They won’t support us. They won’t compromise. We need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves.”
The video showed Manning walking down the middle of a major road, then standing in front of a graffiti-covered wall, holding a rose.
“We need to actually take the reins of power from them,” it said. “We need to challenge them at every level. We need to fix this. We don’t need them anymore. We can do better. You’re damn right #WeGotThis.”
Manning also tweeted a link for campaign donations.
Her sentence was commuted by President Obama, shortly before the end of his second term in office. Manning was released from Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas in May 2017, having spent seven years in custody.
Donald Trump has criticised Manning. In January 2017, responding to the commutation of her sentence, he tweeted: “Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!”
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