Did Snowden get Russian help? Some lawmakers think yes
January 19th, 2014
03:47 PM ET
6 years ago

Did Snowden get Russian help? Some lawmakers think yes

Washington (CNN) – While former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been holed up in Russia pending an asylum request, some in the intelligence community openly wonder if he’s received more help from the Russians than just a safe place to stay.

“Let me just say this: I believe there's a reason he ended up in the hands, in the loving arms of an FSB (Russia’s Federal Security Service) agent in Moscow. I don't think that's a coincidence,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

Rep. Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, had similar comments.

“I don’t think Mr. Snowden woke up one day and had the wherewithal to do this all by himself,” McCaul said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I think he was helped by others.”

And Michael Morell, former acting director of national intelligence, said he too has suspicions that America’s Cold War enemy may have given Snowden a helping hand.

“I don't have any particular evidence, but one of the things that I point to when I talk about this is that the disclosures that have been coming recently are very sophisticated in their content and sophisticated in their timing, almost too sophisticated for Mr. Snowden to be deciding on his own,” Morell said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.”

Snowden fled to Russia following a short stay in Hong Kong last year after he turned over documents to journalists detailing the NSA’s storage of Americans’ phone records.

The revelations led to a debate over the program and outcry from civil liberties groups and prompted a review by the Obama administration.

Filed under: Edward Snowden
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. WD

    The Gulag Archipelago, Vol 1 | Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

    And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur – what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked? The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! “If. . . if . . . We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation. We spent ourselves in one unrestrained outburst in 1917, and then we hurried to submit. We submitted with pleasure! . . . We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

    January 19, 2014 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  2. Matthew

    Did Snowden get Russian help? Some lawmakers think yes... but only the ones with something to hide.

    January 19, 2014 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  3. drauckerr

    Well, what exactly would you expect the forces of tyranny to say? I hope the voters in these traitors districts are wise and patriotic enough to vote them out the first chance they get.

    January 19, 2014 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  4. Norma Vessels

    adc ... maybe you can tell us then .. just where is Mr Snowden getting money to live on. One can't live by breath alone. It takes money, too.

    January 19, 2014 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  5. Smart

    This is simply an attempt by the US govt. to further the argument that Snowden is a criminal. He's not.... The criminals are the ones he exposed.

    January 19, 2014 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  6. Andrew Stergiou

    Support Capitalism Support you Local Neighbourhood Organized Crime Entrepreneur

    THE USA the most Ironic Police State in the World with the best politicians money could buy!

    January 19, 2014 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  7. S. B. Stein

    I wouldn't be surprised that he had some Russian help to get out. If it is accurate, then the Russians owe us a significant explanation as to why they did that and a return of everything that they stole because of Snowden.

    Snowden needs to be returned to the US. He needs to face charges for violating the law. He was quoted as being put in change by people who abdicated oversight. The role he was hired, not elected, was to do was maintain systems and not to set policy. If he wanted to set policy, then he could have run for office. He should have found a member of Congress to trust before screwing the national security of the US.

    January 19, 2014 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Whatever he has on his laptops and external hard drives , the Russians have , that was after the Chines went through them in Hong Kong..

    January 19, 2014 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. hamptonhistory

    Wow, we're really trying the McCarthy route, eh guys?

    January 19, 2014 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  10. JD

    What's the difference between speculation and slander? Not much. There is no evidence here, so why is it newsworthy when supporters of the surveillance regime try to drum up bad things to say about Snowden?

    January 19, 2014 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  11. Laughable

    Mike Rodgers and Peter King are the McCarthys of our time. This story is laughable at best. Anyone that actually believes this gts what they deserve.

    January 20, 2014 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  12. luke,az

    Snowden is a TRAITOR.

    January 20, 2014 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  13. bill n

    The smear campaign begins.

    January 20, 2014 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  14. Smiley

    This is so ridiculous. Edward Snowden blew the whistle and deserves nothing but our praise. Instead the government officials and mainstream media combine their efforts to drill us with propaganda against him. Contrary to their best efforts there are still people in this country that can think for themselves. We know who the real enemies of freedom are; and it's definitely not Edward Snowden.

    January 20, 2014 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  15. Anonymous

    It is amazing that many people soon said that Snowden is doing the world good by "helping out our economy" but the jury is out there in the public spotlight.

    January 20, 2014 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  16. Aaron

    So, why doesn't Mike Rodgers just ask the NSA to check Snowdens call logs? Let's actually see if the NSA system really works or it's just a waste of time and money. I mean if there's any agency on earth that could determine a connection, it would be the NSA, right?

    January 20, 2014 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  17. concerned citizen

    I am very concerned about something. Why are people's comments "awaiting moderation" if there are no obscenities, no offensive material? Apparently it is now offensive to have an opinion that differs from the governments slander about Edward Snowden. And CNN you should be ashamed of yourselves. Why even have a section to comment on in you're just going to edit it to suit your own agenda (which conveniently is the same as the governments) anyway? It's a disgrace...

    January 20, 2014 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  18. TC

    Looking at how Assange was treated and knowing who would be angered by releasing un-constitutinal acts... do you think he did not Snowden did not plan out where his best odds were for escape?

    I believe those in charge were sloppy enough and now have to make it a whole plot to steal the info because one man is embarrassing.

    After 8 months this is what they think, maybe possibly could have happened. and soon the election dance will be starting.

    January 20, 2014 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  19. alfonse

    When the Evil Empire concocts a conspiracy theory it's okay? and we are supposed to accept it? But when Snowden reveals conspiracy FACT that is a crime....! wow. No wonder congress is abjectly detested by 1000% of the globe.

    January 20, 2014 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  20. regenesis0

    Mike, you do realize that Snowden has about 1000x as much credibility as you do, right?

    January 20, 2014 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  21. Sidecrap

    Did Snowden get help from Santa? Some people think yes, offering no proof whatsoever.

    January 20, 2014 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  22. Gerald Erickson

    This smells like a propaganda tabloid.

    January 20, 2014 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  23. sastrugi

    Rep. Mike Smith says the releases were "very sophisticated in their content and sophisticated in their timing". What exactly does that mean? Not only did Rep. Smith not have any evidence of FSB involvement, he did not bother to explain how the releases were so sophisticated. The releases are simply copies of documents taken from NSA servers – nothing sophisticated about that. As for rep. Smith's "sophisticated timing", the documents have been released in a slow stream for months to maximize their impact. Maybe that seems sophisticated to someone of Rep. Smith's intellect, but it hardly takes the resources of the Evil Empire's security services to figure out that was the best way keep the issue in the headlines.

    January 20, 2014 03:53 am at 3:53 am |

    The Guns Over People tea potty turn on their favorite traitor. They eat their own as desperation grows.

    January 20, 2014 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  25. just saying

    totally ludicrous. why would one of our friends (remember the hillary clinton and obama reset button with russia?) want the guy that has the largest treasure trove of this country's secrets that has ever been stolen? (something like 1.5 million documents)

    of course, the russian reset has been a total failure as has all the other obama administration foreign policy matters.

    and to all you idiot simpeltons that don't think russia might have had a hand in helping snowden, answer this. if the shoe was on the other foot, would the usa help somebody that had just stolen every russian secret? who the usa try to get ahold of that person and those secrets before others? of course we would.

    January 20, 2014 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
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