Lawmakers say tenuous relationship shaken further as Snowden lands in Russia
President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 17, 2013.
June 23rd, 2013
01:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Lawmakers say tenuous relationship shaken further as Snowden lands in Russia

Washington (CNN) - The fragile U.S.-Russia relationship - already frayed by disagreements over Syria, Iran and nuclear arms - showed another sign of strain Sunday, as American lawmakers blasted the country's President Vladimir Putin for allowing NSA leaker Edward Snowden to land in Moscow while evading U.S. espionage charges.

Snowden, who has admitted leaking top-secret information about government surveillance programs, left Hong Kong on Sunday and later touched down in Moscow, according to Wikileaks, which helped him travel. While Russia is not believed to be his final destination - Ecuador's prime minister said Snowden applied for asylum in his country - lawmakers on Sunday were quick to fault Putin for harboring a man the U.S. government desperately wants back.


Filed under: NSA • Russia
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Italmn

    This guy needs to be arrested and sent to jail for 60 years.

    June 23, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Thetruth

    Thought the US harbors Russian and other nationals granted political asylum. Shouldn't really be an issue

    June 23, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. Jopa

    Who is actually bringing 'injury to America': those who are secretly building a massive surveillance system or those who inform citizens that it's being done?

    June 23, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. Mr. Man

    I don't think Russia has ever been regarded as an 'ally' even an estranged one.
    The rivalry is pretty obvious.

    June 23, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Thomas

    If he was not hiding anything , why wont he return to the USA. Innocent till proven guilty .

    By going from China to Russia , he's just making it harder on himself.

    June 23, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. A Kickin` Donkey

    Putin "jacked" Robert Kraft for his SuperBowl ring. As totalitarian as Vladimir appears to be, you can`t convince me that they didn`t get his approval BEFORE Snowden decided to fly thru Russia. If Putin doesn`t understand how this would play in America, he is tone deaf. If he didn`t give a damn, that tells us something different. Either way, American busineeses should pull out of investments in a belligerent Russia. American government should warn Putin not to meddle in US internal affairs and American citizens, businesses and governmental agencies should punish/boycott/ shun Russia. Maybe we should put boots on the ground in Syria and install our own puppet leader there.

    June 23, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. dwicjan

    Good luck and be safe Mr. Snowden. Thanks for what you did.

    June 23, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. Rasputin

    try for one second to imagine how it feels to take on the entire US government, on the Government's terms.

    The fact is, there are supposed to be whistleblower protections in place for exactly the kind of activists like Snowden, but the government is only too happy to circumvent them to take "just revenge" against anyone willing to point out what the govt is doing wrong.

    As for facing the music, any idea of a fair legal process has been completely destroyed by the government which ferociously went after all previous whistleblowers who went through the "official channels". Note that Snowden has also been labeled guilty without trial by many representatives of the current administration.

    All that for pointing out that Obama's administration hasn't done anything to curtail blatant unconstitutional snooping and that there are no effective checks in place. Obama himself proved this when he pardoned Clapper, who perjured himself in front of the Congress – the only body that has legal oversight over his actions.

    June 23, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    Putin shows greater judgment, than Congress.

    June 23, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    I will not respect ANY country that harbors snowden.
    Just when I was beginning to develop some level of trustworthiness for Putin he goes and pulls this? snowden knows what he did was wrong and he also knows he will NEVER EVER be respected or accepted in this country again. Putin should send snowden back to us so we can serve him a plate of justice American style.

    June 23, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    If he was not hiding anything , why wont he return to the USA. Innocent till proven guilty .

    By going from China to Russia , he's just making it harder on himself.


    Absolutely. IMO, if he had gone to Switzerland or France, neither of which has an extradition treaty with the U.S. and with whom our history isn't one of great adversity**, he would be a bit more credible.

    **there was that brief "cheese-eating surrender monkey" embarrassment wrought upon us by the sycophants surrounding the previous occupant to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but relations between us and them have improved exponentially since then.

    June 23, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. Jinx9to88

    This is why the government should not sub contract this stuff out to civilians. They run off at the mouth then they jump ship to another country to run their mouths some more.

    June 23, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  13. Jinx9to88

    People need to wake up!! We dont live in the same world as we did 10 or 20 years ago. You need this stuff to keep people safe. Tap my phone all you want I have nothing to hide. People that dont want their phones taped are probably having an affair and doesnt want their spouse to find out. Freaks!!! LMAO!!!

    June 23, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  14. Pete

    If Putin,Russia have any conscience they'd turn over Snowden to us for espionage and selling classified intel..Putin may need a hand in the future because his Russian economy is flaundering and he may again need help from his supposid American allies..Remember it was us during hard Russian times that sent wheat,grain to them when they had none after their economy collapsed....

    June 23, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  15. boungirno

    if the shoe fits, wear it; Meaning! AMERICA IS SOL PEOPLE!!!!!

    June 23, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  16. Michael Benjamin

    Doesn't anyone remember looking in to Putin's heart?

    June 23, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein

    Hong Kong shouldn't have let him leave until the US had a real chance to request extradition. Russia has been playing against the US for sometime. There is still too much of the coldwar "Sovietness" in Putin.

    June 23, 2013 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |