Rep. King wonders: 'Where is the president' on Snowden?
June 24th, 2013
09:16 AM ET
10 years ago

Rep. King wonders: 'Where is the president' on Snowden?

(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.

Filed under: NSA • Peter King • President Obama
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Snowden is of no concern.

    It is the man who seeks to seize total control of America, that is to FEARED, and he resides in the WH!

    June 24, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. ST

    What is wrong with republicans nowadays? Why all the time they are strangling the President? Rep. King should understand this is a very, very, very delicate issue like it was that time when they dealt with the fugitive bin Laden. Issues like this one, you don't report what step is taken or what is going, you just wait to report the result. Where are people of wisdom gone? Are all dead?

    June 24, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. The REAL Truth...

    The Obstructionist Party is incessant in their attempts to tarnish the Obama administration. Perhaps King should be asking McConnell, Boehner, Issa, McCain, Rubio, Cruz et al. what their position is, so WE have a public record on this useless witch hunt. We'll remember their positions at election time.

    June 24, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  4. abunudnik

    He's voting present. That keeps him free from having a record on it.

    June 24, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Rep. King is wrong for calling out the President on this issue. King wants Pres. Obama to stick his neck out and deliver public ultimatums, which would be unwise. It would prompt the kid into revealing more stuff publicly. This issue is one that is best handled behind the scenes, not with public threats. I had thought King had better sense.

    June 24, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  6. Wake up People!

    I too want President Obama to be more forceful when it comes to this and the obstructionist Congress. But everyone knows no matter what he does it's always wrong. If he were more forceful and threw his weight around, that would be proving what the GOP has been saying for years, that he is a dictator. When he treads lightly he is considered soft. He's damned if he do, damned if he don't.

    But I think President Obama needs to make an example of Snowden. He should be tried for treason and hung.

    June 24, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  7. Anonymous

    this right wing nut job will throw a curve ball at the white house when ever he can, if there was a seat to be lost and eliminated it should have been this instagator of hate,

    June 24, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. enuff

    Give me a break...especially CNN. Next you will doing a "news" story on republicans demanding an investigation on why President Obama uses Charmin instead of White Cloud, and if it is because there is"whitein the product name.
    Do they really expect him to personally give chase?

    June 24, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The president has to be diplomatic about things like this only because he has to deal with these countries that often refuse the rule of law and value their own (or any way to bring the US down a notch) as a guiding principle on a wider variety of issues. A member of Congress can speak out on this because he only has to cover his own district.

    June 24, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Thomas

    Peter King / Darrell Issa

    Pit Bull Terrier and Doberman Pinscher
    2014 American Kennel Club's Most Popular Dogs Breeds.

    June 24, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. Data Driven

    Peter King, financial backer of the terrorist Irish Republican Army, has opinions on stuff. How interesting.

    June 24, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. rs

    Snowden is of no concern.

    It is the man who seeks to seize total control of America, that is to FEARED, and he resides in the WH!

    Delusion, they name is GOP!

    June 24, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. rs

    Given Mr. King's financial support of the IRA (a somewhat well-known terrorist organization), perhaps he should sit out this particular Republican-manufactured "controversy". Snowden will be brought to justice in due course- and without King's or the GOP's meddling.

    June 24, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. JKane Democrat Traitors should be swept out like the trash they are in 2014

    Oblunder is of course nowhere to be found on ANY important issue.

    "My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government" B.O. Hussien

    What a COMPLETE joke this utter failure has become. Truly pathetic.

    June 24, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |

    I think it's amazing how all the Washington "elite" come out of the wood work to call snowden a traitor....what thery really need is a truckload of mirrors.

    June 24, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. saywhat

    The likes of Peter King and like minded are part of problems of this country of ours. How this known supporter of terrorism came to hold this position is embarrassing.

    June 24, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. Al-NY,NY

    this guy wants Obama to send troops to wherever the guy is, violating foreign soil and grab him in clear violation of treaties...of course that's the GOP cowboy diplomacy way...perfected by Duh Duh Duh-bya himself. THEN if something goes wrong and a soldier is killed, it's all Obama's fault for "not doing the right thing. Not being prepared. blah blah blah

    June 24, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. Evergreen

    This is why Mr. Obama is the President. The country has gotten tired of cowboy diplomacy. Mr. King sounds like he is ready to start WW 3 over this. The President puts his brain in action in a crisis...Mr. King puts his mouth in action.

    June 24, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Peace

    Why are people like Peter King have a seat in Congress? Now Snowden's whereabout is not known by anyone. Does he expect the President to come out and tell people, the guy has disappeared what can I/we do now? What about using common sense Peter King?

    June 24, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |