Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra says he's not surprised Russia's Federal Security Service set its sights on National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden years before he exposed top-secret U.S. information.
"That's one of the things all governments do," Hoekstra said on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."
"Our intelligence officials and the Brits and our allies, we have to assume that he has given them everything that he knows for us to move forward," Hoekstra said. "We can't assume that he's actually keeping stuff that he had secret access to. To protect our sources, our assets, again, around the world, we have to assume that he has told the Russians and others very sensitive information."
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Former KGB spy Boris Karpichkov said the Russian agency identified Snowden as a possible defector back in 2007, according to The Daily Mail
Karpichkov said Russian agents leaked news of Snowden being in Moscow to "provoke the U.S. into action" and tricked Snowden to ask for Russian asylum. The plan worked. The United States revoked Snowden's passport and asked Moscow for asylum.
The CIA is conducting a "damage assessment" to determine what secrets Snowden has shared, according to the Mail.
Hoekstra also said the Obama administration gravely miscalculated the public's visceral reaction to trading five senior members of the Taliban for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an Army sergeant who spent five years in captivity after being captured by the Taliban when he reportedly deserted his post in Afghanistan.
"What backfired here was the spin," he said. National Security Adviser "Susan Rice started it with saying it's an extraordinary day, he served with honor and dignity, then the spin continued, saying we needed to get him now because it looked like his health is severely deteriorated. It all just went downhill."
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