Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, wanted by US authorities and currently living in Russia, said in a TV interview Sunday that he has applied for asylum in Brazil.
“I would love to live in Brazil,” Snowden told Brazil’s Globo TV. Snowden’s temporary asylum in Russia expires in August.
Washington has revoked his US passport, so his travel options are limited. Snowden, who was interviewed with reporter Glenn Greenwald by his side, said that he has formally asked several countries for asylum, including Brazil. Greenwald is an American living in Brazil. He writes for The Guardian and has published much of the information that Snowden has leaked.
Brazil’s foreign ministry however has said that it has received no formal asylum request from Snowden.
In the interview Snowden said that he would not offer documents to any country in exchange for a safe haven, because asylum should be granted for humanitarian reasons. However he said that he had more documents to release relating to US spying on countries that include Britain and Brazil.
When documents he released last year showed that US agencies had been spying on Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff cancelled a state visit to Washington.
In an earlier interview with NBC Snowden said that he was open to the possibility of clemency or amnesty, and would like to return home one day.
The Obama administration says Snowden is welcome to return, but only to face trial for exposing sensitive information it says aided US enemies.
The White House says that its position on Edward Snowden has not changed after the NSA leaker told NBC News in an exclusive interview that he wants to return to the United States. “Look, let’s be clear, clemency is not on the table,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. Snowden in a recent interview had said that he wants to return to the US, where he is facing charges of unauthorized leak of classified documents.
“We are of the firm belief that the transgressions that he’s been charged with are very serious, that they’ve created negative consequences for our national security and our capacity to protect the United States and the American people and our allies, and that those are very serious offenses,” Carney said.
“I think we can say quite clearly that clemency is not being considered, but beyond that, this is a matter for the Department of Justice,” he said when asked about clemency to Snowden, who is currently in Russia.
Snowden in a recent interview with NBC News expressed the intention to return to the US, where he is facing charges on illegal leak of classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents on mass data surveillance.
Later in the day, the National Security Agency (NSA) released email exchange with Snowden. The NSA informed the Senate Intelligence Committee that it has found no evidence that Snowden “expressed concerns or complaints, in email or any other form, about NSA’s intelligence activities to anyone in a position of authority or oversight” and that it continues to search for any such communications. A day earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry had branded Snowden as a traitor and a coward.
Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden told a US television interviewer on Wednesday he was not under the control of Russia’s government and had given Moscow no intelligence documents after nearly a year of asylum there.
Snowden said amnesty or clemency would be for the public and the government to decide. He said that he sees himself as a patriot, while also revealing that he plans to ask Russia to extend his asylum.
“I have no relationship with the Russian government at all,” Snowden said in an interview with NBC News, his first with a US television network. “I’m not supported by the Russian government. I’m not taking money from the Russian government. I’m not a spy.”
In an interview with NBC News, he described himself as a patriot for trying to stop violations of the Constitution. And while he admitted that he was homesick after claiming asylum in Russia, he said he was confident he had done the right thing.
“I may have lost my ability to travel,” Mr Snowden said. “But I’ve gained the ability to go to sleep at night and to put my head on the pillow and feel comfortable that I’ve done the right thing even when it was the hard thing. And I’m comfortable with that.”
Describing himself as a “technical expert,” Snowden said: “I don’t work with people. I don’t recruit agents. What I do is I put systems to work for the United States. And I’ve done that at all levels from – from the bottom on the ground all the way to the top.”
He said he worked undercover overseas for both the CIA and NSA and lectured at the Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy “where I developed sources and methods for keeping our information and people secure in the most hostile and dangerous environments around the world.”