Donald Trump Says He Will 'Look Very Strongly' At Pardoning Edward Snowden
Speaking at a press conference yesterday (15 August), the US President said he was 'not that aware of the Snowden situation', but would look into the case of the 37-year-old whistleblower, who disclosed highly classified information from the National Security Agency in 2013.
Trump said: "I'm gonna look at it, I'm not that aware of the Snowden situation, but I'm gonna start looking at it.
"There are many, many people - it seems to be a split decision - there are many, many people who think that he should be somehow treated differently, and other people think he did very bad things.
"I'm gonna take a very good look at it, OK? I've seen people that are very conservative and very liberal and they agree on the same issue, they agree both ways. I'm going to take a look at that very strongly, Edward Snowden."
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Trump also discussed the subject of pardoning Snowden on Thursday, telling the New York Post he'd heard he was being 'persecuted'.
He said: "There are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly. I mean, I hear that.
"I guess the DOJ [Department of Justice] is looking to extradite him right now?... It's certainly something I could look at. Many people are on his side, I will say that. I don't know him, never met him. But many people are on his side."
After asking his aides for their opinions on Snowden, he added: "I've heard it both ways. From traitor to he's being, you know, persecuted. I've heard it both ways."
This seemingly undecided outlook in relation to Snowden's case represents a huge shift in tone from the 74-year-old, who himself has previously labelled Snowden a 'total traitor'.
In fact, he tweeted about him at least 45 times before becoming President, even calling for his execution.
Snowden fled to Hong Kong in 2013 before moving to Moscow to avoid extradition. He has been living in Russia ever since, though his legal team have tried in vain to negotiate a prison-free return to the US.
Featured Image Credit: PA