- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who detailed the extent of government surveillance programs by leaking classified documents, said Monday he’s hoping French President Emmanuel Macron will grant him asylum in France.

Mr. Snowden, who is avoiding U.S. prosecution by living in Russia, called on Mr. Macron to grant him asylum during a France Inter radio interview Monday, adding that “protecting whistleblowers is not a hostile act,” ABC News reported.

Mr. Snowden was denied French asylum in 2013 while Mr. Macron’s predecessor, Francois Hollande, was in power. The former systems analyst has applied for asylum in multiple other countries.

The self-described whistleblower said to “CBS This Morning” that while he hopes for French asylum, he also hopes to return to the U.S.

“One of the big topics in Europe right now is should Germany and France invite me in to get asylum. … And of course, I would like to return to the United States. That is the ultimate goal,” Mr. Snowden said. “But if I’m going to spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom-line demand that we all have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial. And that’s the one thing the government has refused to guarantee.”

He added: “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.”

Mr. Macron’s office did not comment, according to ABC News.

Mr. Snowden’s interview comes as his new memoir “Permanent Record” is released Tuesday in 20 countries, including France.

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