President Trump admitted on Friday that he’s considering pardoning the whistleblower Edward Snowden after he polled his aides on the subject Thursday.

Talking with the New York Post, POTUS said, “There are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly. I mean, I hear that.”

Trump said he is open to the possibility of allowing Snowden to return to the U.S. from Russia without being sent to prison.

“Snowden is one of the people they talk about. They talk about numerous people, but he is certainly one of the people that they do talk about,” the president stated on Thursday. “I guess the DOJ is looking to extradite him right now? … It’s certainly something I could look at. Many people are on his side, I will say that. I don’t know him, never met him. But many people are on his side.”

POTUS then turned to his aides, asking, “How do you feel about that, Snowden? Haven’t heard the name in a long time.”

After asking his staff, Trump added, “I’ve heard it both ways. From traitor to he’s being, you know, persecuted. I’ve heard it both ways.”

Snowden caught wind of the president’s remarks, tweeting on Friday, “The last time we heard a White House considering a pardon was 2016, when the very same Attorney General who once charged me conceded that, on balance, my work in exposing the NSA’s unconstitutional system of mass surveillance had been ‘a public service.'”

That Attorney General was the Obama-appointed Loretta Lynch.

Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) tagged President Trump in a response tweet to Snowden’s post, calling for POTUS to pardon the whistleblower.

Explaining to a Twitter user why he wants Trump to pardon Snowden, Massie wrote, “Employees of the US government violated the Constitution and lied to Congress and the American people about it. Snowden exposed them. This is bigger than him. If he’s punished for his service to the Constitution, there will be more violations of the Constitution, and more lies.”

The president’s tone is extremely different from past comments he made about Snowden being a “traitor,” even Tweeting in 2014, “Snowden is a spy who has caused great damage to the U.S. A spy in the old days, when our country was respected and strong, would be executed.”

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