Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee, revealed on Sunday that government officials are not sure how many or which secrets former NSA contractor Edward Snowden took with him when he fled the country.
"The only thing I've learned is that he could have over 200 separate items and whether that's true or not, I don't know," said the California lawmaker on CBS' "Face the Nation."
What the government does know is that Snowden has thus far revealed secrets that were a key to disrupting 50 terrorist plots.
Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was not surprised by Feinstein's revelation and added, "I don't know how we would know, since we haven't had the opportunity to talk with him directly."
Snowden has so far leaked documents to the press that outline surveillance programs operated by his former employer, the National Security Agency. He reportedly had access to several laptops and thumb drives containing top-secret information.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said Sunday that Edward Snowden not only has jeopardized national security but also is showing his disdain for the United States by reportedly traveling to Moscow, with an itinerary that includes Cuba and Venezuela.
"If he could go to North Korea and Iran, he could round out his government-oppression tour," Rogers said on NBC’s "Meet the Press."
Rogers said news that Russian President Vladimir Putin withheld advance knowledge of the National Security Agency leaker’s travel to the country "wouldn’t surprise me."
"Russia is a country that wants to get back on the world stage, and I don't think they really care if they do it in a way that's in the best interests of good citizenship around the world," he said. "This shouldn’t surprise us."
Snowden touched off a firestorm earlier this month when he revealed the U.S. government’s secret anti-terrorism tactics involving personal phone-record and phone-call monitoring. He had been hiding out in Hong Kong until early Sunday when he boarded a plane to Moscow.
“He went outside all of the whistle-blower avenues that were available to anyone in this government, including people who have classified information,” Rogers said. “If he really believes he did something good, he should get on a plane, come back and face the consequences of his actions.”
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.