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16 Aug, 2020 03:30

‘Seems to be a split decision’: Trump says he’ll take ‘a very good look’ at idea of pardoning Snowden

‘Seems to be a split decision’: Trump says he’ll take ‘a very good look’ at idea of pardoning Snowden

For the second time in a week, US President Donald Trump has indicated that he might be considering pardoning former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, noting that the issue has long transcended party lines.

Asked if he wants to pardon Snowden at a press conference in Bedminster, New Jersey on Saturday, Trump responded that while he was “not that aware of the Snowden situation,” he would “start looking at it.”

Trump, who once labelled the former CIA contractor turned-whistleblower a “traitor,” argued that there is no consensus within the American political establishment on the matter.

“There are many people... it seems to be a split decision,” he said.

Many people think that he, somehow, should be treated differently, other people think he did very bad things... I’m going to take a very good look at it

People’s attitude towards Snowden is not something that depends on party affiliation, Trump said, adding that he has seen “many people that are very conservative and very liberal that agree on the same issue, and they agree both ways.”

It was not long before those who have been clamoring for Snowden’s pardon flocked to Twitter, calling on Trump to clear the charges against the former contractor. Among them were Republican Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky). 

Some called on Trump to pardon WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange along with Snowden, saying they are both “truth tellers who were prosecuted for sharing the truth.”

Snowden was charged with espionage and vilified by the US government for leaking a trove of documents exposing the warrantless surveillance of American citizens in 2013. On the run from justice, Snowden has been living in exile in Moscow for all these years, after he ended up stranded in the Russian capital when his US passport was revoked.

Also on rt.com ‘Not treated fairly’? Trump appears to soften on ‘Snowden a traitor’ stance, as supporters renew calls for pardon

The push for Snowden to be pardoned gained momentum after Trump appeared to have softened his stance on the issue, telling the New York Post earlier this week that many people believe the whistleblower has not been treated fairly.

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