John Kerry: Snowden Should Return to U.S. as 'a Patriot Would Do'
Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed any suggestion that the United States forced National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden into the arms of Russia.
Snowden told NBC in an interview that he was intending to take refuge in Cuba until the United States government revoked his passport and left him trapped in the Moscow airport.
Kerry was not sympathetic.
“Well, for a supposedly smart guy, that's a pretty dumb answer, frankly,” he told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie on the Today show Wednesday morning.
Kerry said that he wasn’t interested whether or not Snowden was a hero or a traitor, but encouraged Snowden to return to the United States.
“If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States today, we'll have him on a flight today,” Kerry said. “We’d be delighted for him to come back and he should come back and that's what a patriot would do.”
Kerry described Snowden as a “fugitive from justice” that wasn’t aware of what he had done to national security.
“I think he's confused, I think it’s very sad,” Kerry said. “But this is a man who's done great damage to his country, violated his oath, which he took when he became an employee, and yes, in fact, stole an enormous amount of information and released it to the public, to the detriment of his country.”