Plame and her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, both said the pardon was meant to send a message to subjects of the special counsel investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election that he has their back.
The couple provided separate statements published by the Huffington Post on Friday and also appeared separately on MSNBC-TV that same day.
“This is definitely not about me; it is absolutely not about Scooter Libby. It’s about Donald Trump and his future,” Plame said on MSNBC. “It’s very clear that this is a message that he’s sending that you can commit crimes against national security and you will be pardoned.”
Plame said the message was likely meant for the President’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and a senior adviser to the president.
“The message being sent is you can commit perjury and I will pardon you,” she said. Plame did not return a message from the Journal Monday.
Trump provided Libby with a full pardon Friday, stating that he had heard that Libby, who at the time of his actions was serving as Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, had been “treated unfairly. Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life,” the president said in a statement.
“That is simply false,” Plame said in her statement to the Huffington Post. “President Trump’s pardon is not based on the truth.”
Former President George W. Bush declined to pardon Libby, despite his vice president’s urging, but he did commute Libby’s 30-month sentence in federal prison. Libby still had to pay a $250,000 fine and perform 400 hours of community service.
Plame also mentioned that the federal prosecutor in the Libby case was appointed by then-U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Comey, the FBI director fired by Trump last year. On Sunday, Trump called Comey a “slimeball” in one of his tweets. Comey said in an interview with ABC News that Trump was “morally unfit to be president.”
Wilson’s statement said that the pardon suggests “Trump is willing to allow people to violate the essence of our defense structure, our national security, our intelligence apparatus and essentially get away with it.” He went on to say that Trump “is a vile and despicable individual” who represents “the repudiation of everything that my generation has worked to secure for our nation and its people.”
Plame and Wilson sued Libby, Cheney and others in 2006 for infringing on Plame’s constitutional rights and conspiring to reveal her identity, but a U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C., dismissed the suit.