- Associated Press - Sunday, July 7, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman says NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s disclosures about U.S. surveillance programs have undermined U.S. relationships with other countries and affected what he called “the importance of trust.”

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey told CNN’s “State of the Union” in an interview broadcast Sunday that the U.S. will “work our way back, but it has set us back temporarily.”

Russian officials say Mr. Snowden has been stuck in the transit area of a Moscow airport since arriving on a flight from Hong Kong two weeks ago.

Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have offered asylum.

Rep. Mike Rogers, the head of the House intelligence committee, said he “absolutely” thinks that one of the countries will give Mr. Snowden travel documents.

Mr. Rogers, Michigan Republican, said the U.S. should look at trade agreements with the nations that are offering asylum “to send a very clear message that we won’t put up with this kind of behavior.”

Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he wasn’t surprised that those nations were offering asylum.

“They like sticking it to the United States,” Mr. Mendendez, New Jersey Democrat, told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He also mentioned re-examining U.S. trade policies and foreign aid to any country that might take in Mr. Snowden.

“Clearly, such acceptance of Snowden to any country … is going to put them directly against the United States, and they need to know that,” he said.


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