Army Private Bradley Manning, sentenced earlier this week to 35 years in prison for the biggest breach of classified documents in U.S. history, was “tortured,” by the U.S., former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul appeared to allege on Thursday.

Paul, a libertarian firebrand known for making several attempts at the presidency, made the comments in a Reddit “ask me anything” session on Thursday where he advocated for the release of Manning from prison.

“He has been in prison for over 3 years as well as tortured,” Paul said, adding “I think he should be released now.”

Ron Paul

Former US Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) speaks at George Washington University March 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. Paul spoke at the event organized by student Republicans about his experience in the US government as well as liberties and fiscal policy. (AFP/Getty Images)

Megan Stiles, a spokeswoman for Paul, told TheBlaze on Friday that “Dr. Paul agrees that the treatment Manning received does not reflect well on the US or represent our values.”

“There are many scholars who have labeled Manning [sic] treatment while in prison before trial as torture or akin to torture,” Stiles added, citing a Guardian article as a source.

The Guardian article referenced says Manning’s 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, as well as being checked up upon every five minutes and stripped naked at night, amounted to torture.

In Thursday’s “ask me anything” session, Paul added he believes Manning’s goal “was to inform the American people of the truth about what was happening in the Iraq / Afghanistan wars” and has received “excessive amounts of punishment.”

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