The administration of President Barack Obama has a pattern of not negotiating through strength and one of the repercussions is the inability to get Russia to hand over NSA leaker Edward Snowden, says Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas.
"The restart button with Putin was a mistake," McCaul said on "Fox News Sunday." "Clearly, it's not working in this case."
Every day Snowden is on the run he puts the United States' national security more at risk, said McCaul, chairman of House Homeland Security Committee. "He's a traitor to this country."
Snowden, a contract employee with the National Security Agency, fled to Hong Kong and released information to the press about U.S. intelligence gathering, including how the government keeps records of every American's electronic communications.
Snowden currently is stuck in a Moscow airport trying to get asylum in South America. Finding it difficult to move since the United States revoked his visa, he has turned to Russia, though President Vladimir Putin has said it will be granted only if Snowden promises to stop leaking American secrets.
"The Russians love this," McCaul said. "They're making a mockery of the United States' foreign policy."
Economic and trade pressure should be put on Russia to turn Snowden over, he said.
"I would give the administration low marks for what they've done so far," McCaul said.
McCaul also suggested possible replacements for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose resignation to head up the University of California system creates an opening in Obama's Cabinet. McCaul said he would like the president to consider New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, former NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton and former Coast Guard head Thad Allen.
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