Why is Edward Snowden called 'American Whistleblower'? Trump to look at pardoning man he once called 'traitor'

Trump has deviated from his 2014 stand on Snowden where he had called Snowden as a 'traitor' and a 'spy who should be executed'

                            Why is Edward Snowden called 'American Whistleblower'? Trump to look at pardoning man he once called 'traitor'
Edward Snowden and Donald Trump (Getty Images)

POTUS Donald Trump said he is considering granting a pardon to whistleblower Edward Snowden, in a press briefing given on August 14. “I’m going to take a look at that very strongly,” Trump said during the conference that took place at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. Trump said that the issue has split his staff on the matter. “Many people think he should be somehow treated differently, and other people think he did very bad things.”

Trump raised the issue of a pardon after he gave an interview this week to the New York Post where he said, “There are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly. I mean, I hear that”. The Post reported that Trump polled members of his staff on whether to let Snowden return to the US from Russia without going to prison. In that interview, Trump accused several dignitaries of spying on his 2016 election campaign, from former FBI Director to former president Barack Obama, hinting that they are free while Snowden is in legal limbo. He said, “When you look at [former FBI Director James] Comey and [former FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe, and [former CIA Director John] Brennan — and, excuse me, the man that sat at this desk, President Obama, got caught spying on my campaign with Biden. Biden and Obama, and they got caught spying on the campaign." 

Former US President Barack Obama speaks during the funeral service of the late Rep John Lewis (D-GA) at Ebenezer Baptist Church on July 30, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia (Getty Images)

After this news, Snowden took to Twitter on Friday, August 14, and welcomed Trump's consideration. He wrote, “The last time we heard a White House considering a pardon was 2016, when the very same Attorney General who once charged me conceded that, on balance, my work in exposing the NSA's unconstitutional system of mass surveillance had been "a public service". 


Charges on Edward Snowden

Snowden is a former contractor for the apex US intelligence agency, National Security Agency ( NSA). He has been living in Moscow since fleeing the US six years ago after leaking information on the nation's most secretive spy agencies and their programs. His disclosure of classified information triggered a debate on the government’s eavesdropping, with some hailing him as a hero and others calling him a “traitor”. As a result, the Federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Snowden in 2013, charging him with theft, “unauthorized communication of national define information” and willful communication of classified communication’s intelligence information to an unauthorized person”. In late 2016, Obama said he would not consider a pardon until Snowden stopped running from the law. In March 2014, during a testimony in European Parliament, Snowden wrote that before revealing classified information he had reported "clearly problematic programs" to 10 officials who he claimed did nothing in response to NSA’s legality of spying programs. In a 2014 NBC interview, he said he was told to remain silent on the concerns. 

Computer security consultant Edward Snowden in connection from Russia during the Wired Next Fest 2019 at the Giardini Indro Montanelli on May 26, 2019, in Milan, Italy (Getty Images)

Does Trump retract on Snowden?

It looks like Trump has deviated from his 2014 stand on Snowden where he had called him a “traitor” and a “spy who should be executed”. “Snowden is a traitor and a disgrace. Make no mistake, he is no hero. In fact he is a coward who should come back & face justice," he tweeted in 2014.



He had said, “Snowden is a spy who has caused great damage to the US. A spy in the old days, when our country was respected and strong, would be executed."



After Trump is thinking of pardoning Snowden, the Internet has dug up his old tweets and has been saying that “Trump loves traitors," over his changed stance. Netizens believe Trump is changing sides for electoral gains ahead of the 2020 US elections. Many also accuse Trump of “lying” to the American people, trampling on the Constitution at the bidding of foreign adversaries.


“There’s always a tweet, Snowden pardon edition," wrote journalist Aaron Rupar sharing Trump's old tweets.


“The only disaster here is the fact that Trump is still sitting behind the Resolute Desk. (When he's not golfing, or lying to the American people, or trampling on the Constitution, or doing the bidding of foreign adversaries, or etc....),” wrote a user.



“When your poll numbers are tanking, look for loyalists among the list of criminals you can pardon,” one wrote on the pardoning.


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