The parents of 25-year-old Reality Winner sat down with Anderson Cooper of CNN on Tuesday night and tried to explain their daughter’s mindset when she leaked classified information to a website. The Air Force veteran printed out a classified summary of attempts that Russian hackers made to influence the 2016 presidential election. She also communicated with employees of the website The Intercept from her work computer.
“She hasn’t admitted it to us at all,” Winner’s mom told Cooper.
“What she told me was that she was terrified. She was terrified of the situation, and she did tell me also that she was afraid she was going to disappear.” In an interview with the Daily Beast earlier that day, Billie Winner-Davis described her daughter’s passion.
“She’s very passionate. Very passionate about her views and things like that, but she’s never to my knowledge been active in politics or any of that.”
During Tuesday night’s interview, Winner-Davis and her husband, Gary Davis, explained that they did not know what was happening with their daughter for several days after her arrest.
“She called me on Saturday afternoon, and she told me she was in trouble,” Davis said.
“Our contact has been very limited […] We don’t discuss anything about the case.”
According to her parents, Winner never discussed her work as a defense contractor and would have known the consequences of her actions.
“I don’t care what they accused her of doing […] She’s a veteran […] She’s a patriot […] to see her maligned and slandered in the media is very disheartening,” Davis added.
“She still continued to serve after she got out of the Air Force.”
Winner’s mother expressed to Cooper that she was terrified that her daughter wasn’t going to get a fair trial.
“If she did what she’s been accused of, I know she’s ready to pay the price.”