01:59 GMT +323 October 2018
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    Edward Snowden

    Edward Snowden Denies Reports That Russia Will Hand Him Over to Washington

    © REUTERS / Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras
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    On Friday news reports surfaced indicating that Moscow would deport whistleblower Edward Snowden as ‘a gift’ to US President Donald Trump.

    NBC news cited a senior US official who said that handing over the former National Security Agency contractor is one of several ways to “curry favor” with the White House.

    Ben Winzer, Snowden’s ACLU attorney, told reporters that he and his client are unaware of any such plans, telling NBC, "Team Snowden has received no such signals and has no new reason for concern."

    Snowden himself fired back on the reports on Twitter saying, "Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel. No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they're next."

    Trump has called Snowden a "traitor" and a "spy" and would undoubtedly gladly accept the gesture.  Snowden leaked documents in 2013 detailing the massive surveillance capabilities of the US government. He fled the country and was granted asylum in Russia.

    Rumors spread that President Barack Obama would pardon Snowden before he left office, but that never happened.

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    Tags:
    Deportation, Trade, Whistleblower, White House, Russian Government, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Russia, United States
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