Obama to Hold Final Press Conference in Office

Expected to defend Chelsea Manning decision
January 18, 2017 Updated: January 18, 2017

President Barack Obama is expected to defend his decision to shorten the sentence of convicted leaker Chelsea Manning when he holds his final news conference on Wednesday, AP reported.

Obama plans to answer reporters’ questions at the White House, two days before he leaves office.

It’s the final press conference the president will hold while in office.

Manning, 29, asked Obama last November to commute her 35-year sentence for giving classified government and military documents to the WikiLeaks website. Manning at the time of the arrest, is more than six years into the sentence. Manning will be released from prison in May.

Manning is currently in an all-male military facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and will be free as of May 17.

Republicans have blasted the decision, with House Speaker Paul Ryan calling it “outrageous.”

Ryan says Obama has set a “dangerous precedent” that anyone guilty of compromising U.S. national security won’t have to pay for their crimes.

Obama is slated to welcome President-elect Donald Trump and his family to the White House on Friday before the inauguration. After the ceremony, Obama and the first lady will fly to Palm Springs, California, for a vacation.

They will then live in Washington, D.C., where they’ll rent a house until their daughter Sasha completes high school.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.