KINGSVILLE (KIII NEWS) - This Fourth of July, Billie Winner-Davis wore a t-shirt with an image of her daughter on it, calling her a "true patriot."
Her daughter, 25-year-old Reality Winner of Kingsville, Texas, was charged with espionage in June after she allegedly leaked classified documents about Russian interference in the presidential election to a media source.
Billie Winner-Davis sat down exclusively with Kiii News Reporter Briana Whitney Tuesday as her daughter remains behind bars this Fourth of July.
"We're not really celebrating today, but I did want to wear the t-shirt to show my support for my daughter," Winner-Davis said.
She posted a picture of her handmade shirt on social media backing her 25-year-old daughter.
Reality Winner was working as a contractor for the NSA when she allegedly leaked the classified material. Now her mother is breaking her silence and sharing her daughter's side of the story.
"I don't believe that that information should have been withheld from the American people. I don't understand why we didn't know," Winner-Davis said. "I don't believe she is a traitor. That's a very hurtful word for people to use."
Winner-Davis added, "They want to see her hung. They want to see her in prison for life. Things like that. That's hurtful."
Winner served in the U.S. Air Force for six years and was always proud to be an American, Winner-Davis said.
So when Winner-Davis attended her daughter's bail hearing, she was shocked to see the government had recorded all their phone conversations from jail and presented one conversation from Winner that said, "Mom, those documents. I screwed up."
"They just used like a piece of a conversation and they used it against her," Winner-Davis said.
Winner-Davis said her daughter did email The Intercept twice from her personal email, but claims they had nothing to do with classified documents.
"The first one, she was requesting a transcript to a podcast that they had done with regard to climate change," Winner-Davis said. "The second email was a follow up asking the status of the transcript."
Now the media spotlight is on her daughter as they await her October trial.
"It's extremely difficult. As a parent, as a mother, to have to go through this, this is not something I ever saw in my life," Winner-Davis said.
Guilty or not, Winner-Davis said she will stand with her daughter, who she believes is a patriot.
"I don't want the American people to forget about my daughter Reality," Winner-Davis said.
Winner's trial is set to begin Oct. 23. In the meantime, she remains in an Augusta jail.
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