(CNN) – As Edward Snowden continues to avoid arrest on U.S. espionage charges, one Republican lawmaker is wondering why President Barack Obama isn't more forceful in his pursuit of the admitted leaker of national security secrets.
Rep. Peter King, the outspoken New York congressman who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, also said on CNN's "New Day" it was time to hear directly from Obama on the growing diplomatic nightmare.
"I hate to be in the middle of the crisis second guessing the president, but where is he?" King asked. "Where is the president? Why is he not speaking to the American people? Why is he not more forceful in dealing with foreign leaders?"
Countries like China and Russia haven't received a firm message from the commander-in-chief about their responsibility to ensure Snowden is delivered back to U.S. authorities, King suggested.
Obama should "let the Chinese and the Russians know how serious we are about this," King told CNN's Kate Bolduan.
On Sunday, White House officials said Obama was being briefed on the developments in Snowden's case, and the efforts to return him to the United States. He's wanted on charges related to his disclosure of top secret surveillance programs, which have angered many Americans who consider them to be an overreach of the government's powers.
Obama has addressed those concerns in public remarks, saying his administration must strike a balance between privacy and national security. But King wondered on Monday if the president hasn't been forceful enough in defending the programs, which the Republican lawmaker said he supported.
"From the start of this whole NSA matter, the president should have been out front," King said.
CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.