President Barack Obama does not agree with his former Attorney General Eric Holder, who said Edward Snowden had provided a “public service” by revealing government surveillance secrets to the world.
“I think a careful view of his public comments would indicate that he does not,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest replied when he was asked by reporters today about whether Obama agreed with Holder’s assessment.
“The concern that we have is that the information that was revealed by Edward Snowden put the United States and certain U.S. officials in great danger. It endangered our national security,” Earnest explained.
Holder made his remarks in a podcast interview with former Obama campaign chief David Axelrod.
“We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made,” he said.
Earnest said that Snowden was charged with “serious crimes” and should return to the United States to face trial and prosecution.