WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US Senator and Republican Party presidential hopeful Marco Rubio has labeled whistleblower Edward Snowden a "traitor" during debates and vowed to bring him to court for treason.
"Edward Snowden is a traitor. And if I am president and we get our hands on him, he is standing trial for treason," Rubio said late Thursday in the sixth GOP debate in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Rubio's remarks were pointed at opponent and fellow Senator Ted Cruz, who has previously called Snowden’s revelations of mass government surveillance in the United States and abroad a "public service."
Snowden is wanted in the United States for leaking a trove of classified government documents detailing NSA and other intelligence agencies carrying out widespread mass surveillance programs.
Public opinion in the US is divided over Snowden’s actions, with some hailing the whistleblower as a defender of the US Constitution, while others denounce him for damaging national security.