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Chelsea Manning, the transgender U.S. Army soldier responsible for a massive leak of classified material, poses in a photo of herself for the first time since she was released from prison and post to social media on May 18, 2017. Photo by Chelsea Manning/CC BY-SA/Handout via Reuters

After strong backlash, Harvard dean revokes Chelsea Manning’s fellowship invitation

About 48 hours after Harvard University announced Chelsea Manning was among the visiting fellows for the upcoming academic year, the Harvard Kennedy School dean rescinded the invite.

Dean Douglas Elmendorf withdrew his invitation for Chelsea Manning to become a visiting fellow Friday morning after strong backlash.

In a statement posted on Harvard’s website, Elmendorf said the school does “not honor or endorse any Fellow,” but that designating Manning with a title that carried honorific clout was a “mistake” for which he claims responsibility.

Manning will still be invited to speak and answer questions at the Kennedy School.

Following her invitation, former CIA deputy director Michael Morell resigned from his post as senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Soon after, current CIA director Mike Pompeo withdrew from a scheduled talk at the school due to Manning’s invitation.

Both Manning and her lawyer, Chase Strangio, responded to the revocation on Twitter.

“The decision to withdraw Chelsea Manning’s visiting fellowship in the middle of the night without coherent explanation is disgraceful even for Harvard,” Strangio said on Twitter.

For her part, Manning said she is “honored” to be the first trans woman disinvited as a Harvard fellow.

READ MORE: Chelsea Manning, Sean Spicer named as visiting Harvard fellows

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