Top House Republican Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) fired the first major political shots over NSA leaker Edward Snowden Tuesday morning, ripping the Obama administration as “more and more incompetent.”
Prompted by a leading question from CBS’ Charlie Rose, Ryan took the Obama administration’s inability, thus far, to secure the extradition of Snowden and tied it to controversies with the IRS and Department of Justice.
“It just reveals an administration that seems more and more incompetent by the day, when you see scandals such as the IRS, or intimidation such as the Department of Justice on journalists,” Ryan said on CBS “This Morning.”
Hong Kong defied U.S. requests and allowed Snowden to leave the country en route to Russia on Sunday. When pressed, Ryan said he would have done a “better job” following up with Hong Kong and China on extradition requests. He was unclear on specifics or what he would have done differently.
“Once we’ve discovered that this person has stolen our secrets, has leaked them, you think we’d do a better job of following up with them in China and these other countries,” Ryan said.
“I don’t want to knee-jerk but I would say that we have extradition treaties, we have relationships,” he added. “We should use those relationships. If we’re not going to convince allies or other countries to actually help us with this, that doesn’t speak very well to how we’re being viewed in the world. That doesn’t speak very well to our credibility. And if we try to leverage our credibility and we are not successful, that does not help our image whatsoever.”
Here’s the clip:
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