A National Security Agency contractor accused of leaking a classified report on Russian hacking aimed at the 2016 election told FBI agents she smuggled the document out of a high security intelligence facility in her pantyhose.
That and other details appear in a transcript federal prosecutors filed in court Wednesday detailing the interrogation of 25-year-old linguist Reality Winner by the FBI as they carried out a search warrant at her home in June.
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After insisting for some time that she printed out the report and kept it on her desk for a few days before disposing of it in a burn bag, Winner caved and acknowledged she hid the document before sending it off to a news outlet, now known to be The Intercept.
“So how did you get it out of the office?” FBI agent Justin Garrick asked.
“Folded it in half in my pantyhose,” Winner replied.
The transcript — filed with a federal magistrate judge as part of the government’s effort to keep Winner behind bars — also provides new details on Winner’s explanation for why she allegedly took a copy of the document from the NSA facility at which she worked at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia.
Winner appears to say she believed the contents of the report — which described Russian spearfishing cyberattacks aimed at U.S. voter registration databases — should be in the public debate.
“I saw the article and was like, I don’t understand why this isn’t a thing,” she said. “It made me very mad … I guess I just didn’t care about myself at that point. … Yeah, I screwed up…