Trump national security pick once wrote Chelsea Manning should be tried for treason, executed if guilty

Story highlights

  • "If he's found guilty, he should be executed," McFarland wrote.
  • McFarland was also critical of Wikileaks's founder Julian Assange in 2010.

(CNN)KT McFarland, Donald Trump's pick to be his deputy national security adviser, once wrote that former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning should be tried for treason and executed if found guilty.

Manning was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison for handing over a trove of classified documents to Wikileaks. McFarland, a national security analyst and host of an online Fox News show for years, made the comments in a weekly column on the Fox News' website.
    "It's time to up the charges," she wrote of Manning in 2010. "Let's charge him and try him for treason. If he's found guilty, he should be executed."
    The most recent U.S. Military execution of a service member was in 1961.
    McFarland was also critical of Wikileaks's founder Julian Assange in 2010, calling his group a "terrorist organization" and arguing that Assange was waging cyberwarfare against the United States. She once called for him to be tried by a military tribunal in a 2010 television appearance.
    "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange isn't some well-meaning, anti-war protestor leaking documents in hopes of ending an unpopular war. He's waging cyberwar on the United States and the global world order," McFarland wrote on Fox News. "Mr. Assange and his fellow hackers are terrorists and should be prosecuted as such."
    In another column, she said Assange should be tried to fullest extent of the law "as a warning to those who would follow his example." She added that the U.S. government should create new authority to prosecute both Manning and Assange.
    "If we don't have the legal authority to prosecute him for espionage and to go after his alleged co-conspirator Pvt. Bradley Manning for treason and conspiracy, we should create it," she wrote.
    McFarland's view of the organization, however, appears to have shifted.
    On her Twitter feed, she linked to stories on the Podesta emails, even using a hashtag that was started by Wikileaks for their document release. In an October on Fox News's RedEye, she mocked Hillary Clinton's proposed campaign slogans, which were revealed by Wikileaks.
    In another appearance, she said Assange was trying to show and bring down corruption.
    "As far as the Wikileaks, not the Russian connection, but the Julian Assange-Wikileaks connection, I think he's trying to bring down and show corruption, wherever it exists," she said in an October television appearance. "They've just gotten their hands on Democrat stuff. I have no doubt that if they find their way into Republican emails that those will be released at some point to embarrass and influence as well."
    McFarland and the Trump transition team did not return requests for comment.