Radio talk show host Alex Jones Monday called on President Elect Donald Trump to pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) November 15, 2016
“Look, at the end of the day, the MVP was the leakers,” Jones said, attributing part of Trump’s success to increased political leaks in the wake of Snowden. “So he’s now got to juxtapose that.”
Stating that Snowden helped expose illegal activity, Jones said he planned to reach out and bring up the issue to Trump in the near future.
“In fact, next time I talk to him I’m going to bring that up. ‘Sir, I understand that you think it’s treason if somebody’s giving us secret data but what if it’s illegal?'” Jones said.
“‘That’s what got you in, you know, it would be really gracious if you did a pardon for Snowden,’ and I think that’s something Trump should really do.”
Jones expressed similar sentiments in regards WikiLeaks, its founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning as well.
Snowden has remained in Russia since June of 2013 after the U.S. State Department revoked his passport upon leaving Hong Kong. The former government contractor currently faces charges under the U.S. Espionage Act for revealing NSA documents related to mass surveillance.
Bulk collection of telephone metadata, revealed by Snowden, was ruled illegal last year by the US court of appeals.
When asked about his possible extradition to the United States under a Trump presidency during a live stream event Thursday, Snowden argued he was more worried about global surveillance than his personal wellbeing.
“While I care what happens to me… this is not about me, it’s about us,” Snowden said.
Trump has previously referred to Snowden as a “traitor” on numerous occasions, even suggesting that the former government contractor should possibly be “executed.”
Although Trump stated in 2015 that “Putin would give him [Snowden] over” if he were elected, the issue has yet to be referenced since his November 9th victory.