Putin says Snowden no 'traitor' in Oliver Stone interviews

Lawrence Kim
June 2, 2017

Not coincidentally, a few hours earlier, NBC News' Megyn Kelly announced on Today, to the surprise of no one, that when she moderates that International Economic Forum with Putin in St. Petersburg tomorrow - as reportedly brokered by NBC News chairman Andy Lack - she also will get some one-on-one time with Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that Edward Snowden's release of classified government documents was the wrong thing to do, but he doesn't think the whistleblower betrayed his country.

Stone is best known for Hollywood blockbusters inspired by American history such as "JFK" and "Born on the Fourth of July", but has previously made films about the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Venezuelan firebrand Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013. "As an ex-KGB agent, you must have hated what Snowden did with every fiber of your being", Stone asks in the clip. "I trust them", Putin said.

"I think he [Snowden] shouldn't have done it".

Asked if Snowden did the right thing, Putin said: "If he didn't like anything at his work, he should simply have resigned, but he went further".

- Trump in "Kremlin's pocket"?

When asked if Snowden should have left his NSA job out of principle, the Russian president answered: "I would say yes".

Stone's feature film based on Snowden's story was released a year ago.

The four-part Putin's interview is expected to be aired by the US Showtime TV channel on June 12-15.

While he agreed with Snowden that the National Security Agency went too far in its surveillance program, Putin said he shouldn't have leaked the information.

"Our intelligence services always conform to the law. They say that those who are destined to be hanged are not going to drown", Putin replied. "Everything that he does, he does publicly", Putin added. However, the film excerpts don't show the Russian leader's response. "T rying to spy on your allies, if you really consider them allies and not vassals, is just indecent", Putin says in what seemed to be a swipe at the USA for reportedly conducting surveillance on friendly countries such as Israel and Germany.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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