The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Rogue U.S. Leaker Snowden Says He ‘Acted Alone’

@AFP

Washington (AFP) – Edward Snowden has rejected suggestions he was a Russian spy, saying he acted alone in exposing U.S. surveillance programs.

“This ‘Russian spy’ push is absurd,” the U.S. fugitive told The New Yorker.

In an interview the magazine said was carried out by “encrypted means” from Moscow, the 30-year-old said he “clearly and unambiguously acted alone, with no assistance from anyone, much less a government.”

On Sunday two Republican lawmakers suggested the fugitive — who is in hiding in Russia — may have acted in concert with a foreign power, possibly Moscow.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers, for one, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” talk show that he didn’t think “it was a gee-whiz luck event that (Snowden) ended up in Moscow under the handling of the FSB” Russian state security agency.

Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told ABC’s “This Week” that he didn’t believe “Mr Snowden was capable of doing everything himself.”

He added he could not say “definitively” that Russia was involved, “but I believe he was cultivated.”

Snowden received temporary asylum in Russia in August — a move that infuriated the United States — and is believed to be living in the Moscow area.

Before being granted asylum, however, he spent more than a month holed up in an airport there, a point he raised in the New Yorker interview.

“Spies get treated better than that,” he said.

The New Yorker also quoted Snowden as saying that “Russia was never intended” to be his place of asylum and that he was “stopped en route.”

“I was only transiting through Russia,” he told the publication.

“I was ticketed for onward travel via Havana — a planeload of reporters documented the seat I was supposed to be in — but the State Department decided they wanted me in Moscow, and cancelled my passport.”

AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mike Lindell

Ronna McDaniel secured a fourth term as chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) on Friday with roughly two-thirds of the votes cast, leaving her challengers in the dust, including millionaire conspiracy-monger Mike Lindell, who had projected a winner’s confidence on the campaign trail.

Keep reading...Show less

Charles McGonigal

Youtube Screenshot

The arrest of Charles McGonigal, chief of the FBI counterintelligence division in New York from October 2016 until his retirement in 2018, reopens festering questions about the troubled election that put Donald Trump in the White House. Among the crimes charged against McGonigal in two lengthy federal indictments is a secret financial relationship with Oleg Deripaska — a Russian oligarch close to dictator Vladimir Putin and associated with Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager, himself convicted of crimes and pardoned.

During his FBI career, McGonigal oversaw investigations of Deripaska and other oligarchs suspected of various crimes, including espionage. Now the exposure of his illegal connection with Deripaska may provide fresh insights into Trump's tainted victory.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}