CIA Director Mike Pompeo scrapped his appearance Thursday at Harvard University over the school’s decision to make Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of leaking classified information, a visiting fellow.
Pompeo called Manning an “American traitor.” He said he agreed with military and intelligence officials who believe Manning’s leak endangered the lives of CIA personnel.
Pompeo was scheduled to appear at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to discuss allegations of Russian involvement in last year’s presidential election, the nuclear standoff with North Korea and other global security concerns.
Minutes after the event was to begin, Douglas Elmendorf, dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, took the stage and told the audience Pompeo was not there and would not speak.
“We will try to reschedule it as soon as we can, but the CIA director, is obviously, in charge of his schedule,” Elmendorf said. “We are not in charge of his schedule and he gets to decide when and where he speaks, of course.”
Several hours later, the CIA released a letter that Pompeo wrote to a Harvard official.
Pompeo, who has a law degree from Harvard, said he didn’t make the decision lightly. He wrote that he would betray the trust of CIA employees if he appeared.
Manning was released from…