President Donald Trump is looking “very strongly” at a potential pardon for former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, he said during a Saturday press briefing.
The statement came during the Q&A segment of a Trump briefing focused largely on the nation’s economic recovery from coronavirus. Trump once deemed Snowden a “traitor” for leaking information regarding an NSA project that gathered telecommunications information from American citizens.
“I’ve seen people that are very conservative and very liberal and they agree. They agree both ways,” Trump said in response to a question about pardoning Snowden. “I’m going to take a look at that very strongly, Edward Snowden.”
“Snowden is one of the people they talk about. They talk about numerous people, but he is certainly one of the people that they do talk about,” Trump said. “I guess the DOJ is looking to extradite him right now? … It’s certainly something I could look at. Many people are on his side, I will say that. I don’t know him, never met him. But many people are on his side.”
Trump was extremely critical of Snowden prior to being elected president, going so far as to call for his execution on Twitter, according to the Post.
Snowden is currently in exile from the United States and was granted asylum in Russia.