Some say he betrayed our Democracy, while others applaud him for being a whistleblower fighting to preserve our Democracy. Now, he himself, Edward Snowden is speaking out from his hideaway in Russia, which he said wasn’t his first choice in an interview with MSNBC’s Brian Williams Monday. “It was never my intention to end up in Russia,” Snowden said. Snowden notoriously leaked national security secrets while working as a contractor for the National Security Agency in 2013.
He exposed widespread surveillance of U.S. citizens, and, thus, considers himself a whistleblower.
“I was going to Latin America and my final destination was hopefully going to be Ecuador,” Snowden continued. “I applied for asylum in 27 different countries around the world, traditional U.S. allies, places like France and Germany, places like Norway that I felt the U.S. government and the American public could be comfortable that was fine for a whistleblower to be in, and, yet, every time one of these governments got close to opening their doors the phone would ring in their foreign ministries and on the other end of the line would be a very senior American official.”
Those senior officials Snowden identified as then-Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden. He said they threatened “consequences” to those foreign governments considering protecting Snowden. Despite the possibility of imprisonment, Snowden told Williams he would like to return to the U.S.