Famed National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden divided the nation by divulging classified information about U.S. spying programs, with one camp labeling him a hero and the other saying he should be prosecuted.
Suffice it to say, House Speaker John A. Boehner is in the latter category.
“Edward Snowden is a traitor to our country,” Mr. Boehner told reporters Thursday. “He has damaged our ability to keep Americans safe here and abroad. And there’s no other word that should describe him other than a traitor.”
In an exclusive NBC interview with Brian Williams that aired Wednesday, Mr. Snowden said he does not think he’d get an open and fair trial.
“I don’t think there’s ever been any question that I’d like to go home,” he said. “I mean I, from day one, said that I’m doing this to serve my country. … Whether amnesty or clemency ever becomes a possibility is not for me to say. That’s a debate for the public and the government to decide, but if I could go anywhere in the world, that place would be home.”
On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi criticized Mr. Snowden for the extent of his leak.
“I don’t really think that we should set a precedent that says, if you reveal millions of pages — millions of documents — that that’s a patriotic thing and you’re off free and clear,” the California Democrat said at her weekly press conference.
She also wants to know how the agency allowed Mr. Snowden to walk off with classified material.
“Who is responsible for that at the NSA, and why aren’t we hearing more about that?” Mrs. Pelosi said.