President Donald Trump said he was open to considering whether Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency secrets-leaker, can return to the U.S. from Russia without going to prison, the New York Post is reporting.
"There are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly," Trump told the newspaper. "I mean, I hear that."
Congressional Republicans, along with the Justice Department's inspector general, have recently focused attention on the misuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to surveil former Trump adviser Carter Page, the Post noted.
Snowden, a former NSA contractor, has lived in Russia for over six years. He is accused of providing journalists with classified documents about the government surveillance program.
"Snowden is one of the people they talk about," Trump said. "They talk about numerous people, but he is certainly one of the people that they do talk about, I guess the DOJ is looking to extradite him right now.
"It's certainly something I could look at. Many people are on his side, I will say that. I don't know him, never met him. But many people are on his side."
Trump turned to his staff and asked: "How do you feel about that, Snowden? Haven't heard the name in a long time."
After he finished soliciting their views, he said: "I've heard it both ways. From traitor to he's being you know persecuted. I've heard it both ways."
The Post noted Trump, before taking office, had denounced Snowden as a traitor and even called for his execution.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.