U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he is considering a pardon for Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor – now living in Russia – whose spectacular leaks shook the U.S. intelligence community in 2013.
The Republican president’s comments followed an interview here Trump gave to the New York Post this week in which he said of Snowden that “there are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly” by U.S. law enforcement.
“I’m going to start looking at it,” Trump told reporters about a possible pardon, speaking at a news conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club.
U.S. authorities for years have wanted Snowden returned to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges brought in 2013.
Snowden fled the United States and was given asylum in Russia after he leaked a trove of secret files in 2013 to news organizations that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the NSA.