U.S. lawmaker investigates whether Russia behind Snowden’s leaks

A picture of Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), is seen on a computer screen displaying a page of a Chinese news website, in Beijing in this June 13, 2013 photo. Credit: Reuters
A picture of Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), is seen on a computer screen displaying a page of a Chinese news website, in Beijing in this June 13, 2013 photo. Credit: Reuters

The head of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said on Sunday he is investigating whether former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden had help from Russia in stealing and revealing U.S. government secrets.

“I believe there’s a reason he ended up in the hands – the loving arms – of an FSB agent in Moscow. I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” U.S. Representative Mike Rogers told the NBC program “Meet the Press,” referring to the Russian intelligence agency that is a successor of the Soviet-era KGB.

Snowden last year fled the United States to Hong Kong and then to Russia, where he was granted at least a year of asylum. U.S. officials want Snowden returned to the United States for prosecution. His disclosures of large numbers of stolen U.S. secret documents sparked a debate around the world about the reach of U.S. electronic surveillance.

Rogers did not provide specific evidence to back his suggestions of Russian involvement in Snowden’s activities, but said: “Some of the things we’re finding we would call clues that certainly would indicate to me that he had some help.”

Asked whether he is investigating Russian links to Snowden’s activities, Rogers said, “Absolutely. And that investigation is ongoing.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on “Meet the Press” that Snowden “may well have” had help from Russia.

“We don’t know at this stage,” Feinstein said.

Feinstein said Snowden gained employment at the National Security Agency “with the intent to take as much material down as he possibly could.”

On the ABC program “This Week,” U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, also expressed his belief that Snowden had foreign help.

“Hey, listen, I don’t think … Mr. Snowden woke up one day and had the wherewithal to do this all by himself,” he said.

“I personally believe that he was cultivated by a foreign power to do what he did,” McCaul said.

Asked whether he thought Russia was that “foreign power,” McCaul said, “You know, to say definitively, I can’t. I can’t answer that.”

‘TOTALITY OF THE INFORMATION’

Rogers indicated that the nature of the material that Snowden obtained suggested foreign involvement.

“When you look at the totality of the information he took, the vast majority of it had to do with military, tactical and operational events happening around the world,” he told the CBS program “Face the Nation.”

Michael Morell, the former deputy CIA director, said he shared Rogers’ concern about what Russian intelligence services may be doing with Snowden.

“I don’t have any particular evidence but one of the things I point to when I talk about this is that the disclosures that have been coming recently are very sophisticated in their content and sophisticated in their timing – almost too sophisticated for Mr. Snowden to be deciding on his own. And it seems to me he might be getting some help,” Morell said on “Face the Nation.”

Other U.S. security officials have told Reuters as recently as last week that the United States has no evidence at all that Snowden had any confederates who assisted him or guided him about what NSA materials to hack or how to do so.

Snowden told the New York Times in October he did not take any secret NSA documents with him to Russia when he fled there in June 2013. “There’s a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any documents,” Snowden told the Times.

In remarks aired on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” President Vladimir Putin discussed Snowden’s freedom of movement in Russia and that the American would be free to attend the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics.

“Mr. Snowden is subject to the treatment of provisional asylum here in Russia. He has a right to travel freely across the country. He has no special limitation. He can just buy a ticket and come here,” Putin said.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…