15:03 GMT23 February 2020
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    Earlier in the day, Trump called US whistleblower Snowden a traitor in an interview, adding he could persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to extradite him to the United States if he won the presidency.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US presidential candidate Donald Trump must not attempt to involve Edward Snowden in his political maneuvering, Snowden's Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told Sputnik Thursday, commenting on a recent statement by the self-described US billionaire.

    "I would like to urge Trump and other US presidential candidates to bear responsibility for their statements and abstain from involving Snowden in their political games," Kucherena said.

    “I am very sorry that Trump, who has been under quite a large number of trials in the United States, and knows how important it is to respect the rights and freedoms of citizens, for the sake of some populist statements, is trying to involve Edward Snowden in these political games.”

    The lawyer stated that there has been no formal court hearing against Snowden in the United States and branding the whistleblower a traitor is an unacceptable remark, even for Trump.

    In 2013, Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, leaked an estimated 1.7 million classified documents, disclosing widespread and illegal surveillance of civilian, government and corporate communications.

    In the United States, Snowden faces up to 30 years in prison. On August 1, 2013, Russian authorities granted Snowden temporary asylum in Russia for one year. In August 2014, the whistleblower received a three-year residence permit in Russia. US authorities have called on him to return to the United States and face trial. There has been no extradition request by the United States to Russia.


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    government surveillance, spy mania, 2016 US Presidential Run, WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, Donald Trump, United States, Russia
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