Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates thinks Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of data on U.S. spying programs, is a “traitor” who acted outside the bounds of what’s acceptable.
Mr. Gates made his comments in a “PBS Newshour” interview that is set to air Tuesday evening.
“I think that the revelations have done a lot of damage. … I think he’s a traitor,” Mr. Gates told the program.
In support of his assessment, he said neither the House nor Senate intelligence committees found any wrongdoing on the part of the NSA.
Several lawmakers have expressed similar opinions and think Mr. Snowden should be extradited from his exile in Russia and face justice. Others have said the leaker provided a public service by letting media outlets and the American public know about the extent of the government’s secretive bulk-collection of phone records, a move that prompted a White House review of spying practices.
Mr. Gates was on the program to speak about his new book, “Duty,” which is garnering close attention because of its critical remarks about President Obama’s war policy.