US President Donald Trump says he will look at the case of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. At that time, he still wanted to have him executed.
US President Donald Trump wants to examine a pardon for the whistleblower Edward Snowden, who seven years ago revealed the sprawling surveillance system of American secret services.
Although he was not particularly familiar with the matter, “but I’ll have a look at it,” said Trump on Saturday (local time) in response to a question from reporters at a press conference. Snowden was granted asylum in Russia, where he was stranded while fleeing.
The question to Trump came after the president said in a recent interview with the New York Post newspaper that a lot of people believed that Snowden had not been treated fairly. Even now, Trump said there were different opinions about Snowden: “Some people think he should be treated differently, others think he did very bad things.”
In 2013, Snowden gave several journalists a large number of confidential documents from the American interception service NSA. The material revealed an in-depth system of Internet and telecommunications surveillance by US intelligence agencies and their British allies. While Snowden has been charged with betrayal of secrets, there is also an opinion in the US that he did society a service.
Trump himself described Snowden as a “traitor” who was to be “executed”. Libertarian-conservative Republicans like Senator Rand Paul support the considerations of a pardon – which seems attractive to Trump because it goes clearly against the line of the administration of his predecessor Barack Obama.
The consequences of Snowden’s revelations continue to have an impact today: just a few weeks ago, the European Court of Justice conceded an agreement for the second time to transfer data from Europeans to the US because the information was not sufficiently protected there.
Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama pardoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning at the end of his term in 2017. Manning had passed on diplomatic correspondence and military documents to the Wikileaks disclosure platform. A video of US troops shooting at civilians and reporters in Iraq became particularly popular.