Edward Snowden, living under asylum in Russia, gave a riveting interview to NBC’s Brian Williams during which the former NSA contractor denied coordinating with the Russian government and argued the merits of his leak of hundreds of thousands of classified NSA documents.
“I have no relationship with the Russian government at all. I’m — I’ve never met the Russian president. I’m not supported by the Russian government,” Snowden said. “I’m not taking money from the Russian government. I’m not a spy, which is the real question.”
Snowden’s Moscow lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, works for Russia’s post-Soviet security services (FSB). Snowden, who also said that he was “trained as a spy,” also lives in an undisclosed location under FSB protection.
Furthermore, the former CIA technician denied coordination with the Kremlin while sitting right across the river from Vladimir Putin’s office and official residence.
Williams and Snowden met at the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski, on the opposite side of the River Moskva as the Kremlin. As shown by Google street view, the interview took place next Putin’s seat of power.
Basically, Snowden’s claim that he has “no relationship with the Russian government at all” is both demonstrably disingenuous. And he said it while sitting next to the Kremlin’s heart.
Here’s the clip:
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