News   /   Interviews

Putin is unlikely to turn over Snowden to US: Analyst

Rodney Martin

Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to turn over American whistleblower Edward Snowden to the United States in order to improve ties with new US President Donald Trump, says a political analyst in Los Angeles.

During an interview with Press TV on Saturday, Rodney Martin, a former congressional staffer, said recent US media reports that Putin is considering returning Snowden to the US is mainly media “speculation.”

“I don’t believe President Putin is going to turn Snowden over; I think he would veto that idea,” Martin said. “He, like so many others, are seeing in Donald Trump [that] there’s a lot of talk and no action.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me if this is a bogus story designed to rattle Snowden in an effort to make him flee to some place so he could be intercepted in route,” Martin said.

US intelligence agencies have collected information that Moscow is considering turning over Snowden as a "gift" to Trump.

Read More:

Returning the NSA whistleblower is one of the many plans that Putin’s government is considering in order to “curry favor” with the new American president, NBC News reported Friday, citing a senior US official who has analyzed a series of highly sensitive intelligence reports concerning Russia.

A second source within the US intelligence community confirmed the report, noting that the matter has been mentioned in Russian conversations and notes gathered since Trump’s January 20 inauguration.

Snowden, who fled to Russia in 2013, is currently wanted for treason and faces up to 30 years in prison for leaking government secrets. Trump has called him a "spy" and a "traitor" who deserves to be executed.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the NBC report as “nonsense.”

Ben Wizner, Snowden’s lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told NBC the organization was unaware of any such plans.

The White House refused to comment on the matter but the US Justice Department welcomed Snowden’s extradition.

"I think he's a total traitor and I would deal with him harshly," Trump said in July during his presidential election campaign. "And if I were president, Putin would give him over."

 CIA Director Mike Pompeo has also called for Snowden to face American justice. "I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence," Pompeo said last February.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku