There are few people in the world who have a reputation as controversial as that of Edward Snowden. Years ago, the former NSA employee shocked the world when revealing details of America’s phone surveillance systems. Ever since that time, he has been residing in Russia against the will of the United States, where opinion is divided about what should happen to him if he ever returns. Some would even argue that he is partly to blame for the wave of anti-establishment sentiment among those in the country, so it might be surprising to many that Snowden is speaking out about president-elect Donald Trump. And the former government employee is not mincing words.
In a recent interview with Katie Couric, Snowden outlined his concern about Trump’s interest in General David Petraeus, a man who revealed highly classified intelligence to a journalist. Of course, at the time, he was also having an affair with the woman. However, Petraeus was pardoned and never had to serve jail time. Although Donald Trump and his VP selection Mike Pence have been singing Petraeus’s praises, many Americans were aghast at the man’s conduct. Snowden points out the hypocrisy that what Petraeus revealed was actually more classified than the information he revealed to the world. After all, Petraeus even told his journalist paramour about private conversations that he held with the president. Some of these conversations were classified above top secret, and Snowden expresses his dismay that a government official would act so recklessly in his personal interest without having to suffer any consequences.
In the interview, Snowden points out Trump’s constant wavering on the issues, stating that he believes the Russian government preferred the unknown factor of a Trump presidency compared to Hillary Clinton’s established views. He also states that the believes it is quite possible that senior Russian officials did authorize the infamous hack of the DNC.
Couric and Snowden also discuss one of Trump’s cohorts, Mike Pompeo, and his very strong reaction to the manner in which Snowden’s case should be handled. When Couric grills Snowden on what his reaction would be if he were extradited to the United States by Putin, he states that going back to the U.S. under such circumstances would be a threat to his liberty and his life. Although Snowden seems resigned to his strange fate, he is showing no signs of wanting to stop speaking out on the issues. When talking about a Trump presidency, Snowden states that he believes whistleblowers will be more important than ever.