President Trump Reconsiders Whistleblower Edward Snowden After Obama-gate Spying Scandal
President Donald Trump is rethinking his position on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the man who he once said should be “executed.”
President Trump brought up Snowden in the context of Obama-gate, the attempt by the previous administration to undermine and sabotage the Trump White House that has disgraced the intelligence community.
“There are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly. I mean, I hear that,” Trump said to the New York Post in an exclusive interview inside the Oval Office, before talking to his staff about Snowden.
“When you look at [former FBI Director James] Comey and [former FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe, and [former CIA Director John] Brennan — and, excuse me, the man that sat at this desk, President Obama, got caught spying on my campaign with Biden. Biden and Obama, and they got caught spying on the campaign,” Trump added.
The illegal spying conducted against Trump and his presidential campaign has given the man a different perspective on the issue, and it seems to have affected his opinion of Snowden.
“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,” Trump said 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,” he continued.
“I’ve heard it both ways. From traitor to he’s being, you know, persecuted. I’ve heard it both ways,” the president added.
This is quite the departure from Trump’s previous view of Snowden, which he held for many years, that he should be punished for exposing the deep state’s spying capabilities:
Big League Politics has reported on Snowden’s desire to return home if he can receive a fair trial that is not a railroading by the deep state:
Whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who has been in exile in Russia since releasing documents exposing the spying capability of the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013, desires to return home and face the music for his controversial actions that have made him the scorn of the deep state.
“I would like to return to the United States. That is the ultimate goal. But if I’m gonna spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom line demand that we have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial. And that is the one thing the government has refused to guarantee because they won’t provide access to what’s called a public interest defense,” Snowden said during an interview with “CBS This Morning.”
Snowden is releasing a memoir, “Permanent Record,” in which he details his life in Russia and explains in detail his motives behind exposing the NSA’s ubiquitous spying program.
“Again, I’m not asking for a parade. I’m not asking for a pardon. I’m not asking for a pass. What I’m asking for is a fair trial. And this is the bottom line that any American should require,” Snowden said.
“We don’t want people thrown in prison without the jury being able to decide that what they did was right or wrong. The government wants to have a different kind of trial. They want to use special procedures they want to be able to close the courtroom, they want the public not to be able to go, know what’s going on,” he added.
If he can actually secure a fair trial of his peers, Snowden believes that a jury would acquit him for exposing government behavior that was committed in total secrecy and violated the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“And, essentially, the most important fact to the government and this is the thing we have a point of contention on, is that they do not want the jury to be able to consider the motivations. Why I did what I did. Was it better for the United States? Did it benefit us or did it cause harm? They don’t want the jury to consider that at all,” Snowden said.
“They want the jury strictly to consider whether these actions were lawful or unlawful, not whether they were right or wrong. And I’m sorry, but that defeats the purpose of a jury trial,” he added.
The president might want to consider bringing back Snowden and making him the Director of National Intelligence considering how Obama-gate has vindicated the whistleblower’s actions. Snowden currently living in Russia, with Russian President Vladimir Putin granting him asylum.