Speculations are growing after US President Donald Trump’s interview with the New York Post, on the possible return of surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Trump said that he was open to Snowden going back to the US without any repercussions, the New York Post reported.
The President added that “a lot of people” think Snowden is not “being treated fairly,” he told the Post.
He also shared that he has never met him, but that many people support Snowden.
“Many people are on his side,” he said.
In 2013, a scandal broke after a revelation that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting millions of American’s telephone records.
The scandal was triggered after the Guardian published a “secret court order” asking American telecommunications company, Verizon to transfer all subscribers’ phone data to the NSA, daily.
Trump told the Post that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is “looking to extradite” Snowden immediately.
During the interview, Trump also asked his staff what they think about Snowden’s possible return to the country.
“I heard it both ways,” Trump said after his survey.
“From traitor,” to being “persecuted,” he added.
Trump’s interview with the Post shows a “remarkable softening in his views” about Snowden.
In the past, before he became president, Trump called Snowden a “traitor” who should die by execution.
Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013 after its government granted him asylum.
Renewed Support For Snowden’s Return
A lot of people showed their support for Snowden’s return to the US after Trump’s interview with the Post.
On Friday, Representative of Kentucky, Thomas Massie, made a call to President Trump asking him to pardon Snowden.
Michigan’s Libertarian representative, Justin Amash, also supports Snowden’s return to the US.
Snowden, who was responsible for exposing “unconstitutional surveillance practices that violated the rights of millions,” should return to the US and “receive a pardon,” Amash wrote in his Twitter post.
Pardoning Snowden, according to Amash, is “part of a fair process that examines his actions.”