Russia Considers Returning Edward Snowden to U.S. to ‘Curry Favor’ With Trump: Official
- Russia may gift Donald Trump with NSA leaker, Edward Snowden.
- A U.S. official and a second source have both confirmed these allegations.
- Edward Snowden’s ACLU lawyer has received no such signals and has no new reason for concern.
- Snowden’s Russian lawyer claims Snowden can’t be used as a bargaining chip on any level.
NBC News is reporting that Russia is considering returning America’s most notorious whistle blower, Edward Snowden. Back in June 2013, Snowden leaked classified NSA intelligence to a select few journalists. Shortly after, Snowden was granted asylum in Russia and has been living there ever since. However, according to NBC, Snowden may be being coming home. If that’s the case, I’m not anticipating a lavish welcome home party being thrown by Donald Trump.
U.S. intelligence has collected information that Russia is considering turning over Edward Snowden as a “gift” to President Donald Trump — who has called the NSA leaker a “spy” and a “traitor” who deserves to be executed.
That’s according to a senior U.S. official who has analyzed a series of highly sensitive intelligence reports detailing Russian deliberations and who says a Snowden handover is one of various ploys to “curry favor” with Trump. A second source in the intelligence community confirms the intelligence about the Russian conversations and notes it has been gathered since the inauguration.
Snowden’s ACLU lawyer, Ben Wizner, told NBC News they are unaware of any plans that would send him back to the United States.
“Team Snowden has received no such signals and has no new reason for concern,” Wizner said.
Snowden responded to NBC’s report on Twitter and said it shows that he did not work with the Russian government.
Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel. No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they're next. https://t.co/YONqZ1gYqm
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) February 10, 2017
Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, reacted to the report with dismay.
“There are no reasons to extradite Edward Snowden to the U.S.,” Kucherena said, according to TASS, the state-owned news agency. “This is some kind of speculation coming from so-called US special service sources. I think this topic was and remains on the political plane in the U.S., but it’s American special services that are puppeteering this story with sporadic information plants.”
“There is not the slightest reason to raise or discuss this topic in Russia,” Kucherena said.
Russia, he said, does not sell people. “The Snowden issue cannot be a bargaining chip on any level, neither political nor economic,” he said, according to the news agency.