Two top U.S. lawmakers shared a common theme while making the news talk show rounds this weekend: Edward Snowden must have had help.
Mike Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that an investigation is ongoing into whether the former NSA worker was getting instructions and assistance from another country.
“I believe there’s a reason he ended up in the hands – the loving arms – of an FSB agent in Moscow. I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” Rogers said, referring to the Russian counterintelligence service that replaced the Soviet-era KGB.
In an interview that focused on government overreach and privacy issues, Rogers described Snowden as “a thief, who we believe had some help, who stole information, the vast majority of which had nothing to do with privacy,” reported The Chicago Tribune.
“Our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines have been incredibly harmed from the data he has taken with him, and we believe now is in the hands of nation states,” Rogers said.
Former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell backed up Rogers’ assessment, and told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Snowden’s revelations are too sophisticated for him not to be getting some sort of guidance, possibly from the Russian government that has given him temporary asylum.
When asked who he believes might have helped Snowden accomplish the feat – or how high up those influencers might be – Rogers kept the details light.
“There are certain questions we have to get answered…he didn’t look for information on the privacy side for Americans. He was stealing information that had to do with how we operate overseas to collect information to keep America safe.”
On “This Week,” Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), House Homeland Security Committee chairman shared a similar view with George Stephanopoulos, saying he believed Snowden was “cultivated by a foreign power to do what he did,” reported The Wire.
McCaul and Rogers insinuated the NSA analyst could not have pulled of this level of “theft” alone, pointing to a handful of examples of prior planning, such as Snowden’s pre-planned travel before he accessed the information and that he was ready to flee with a “go-bag” in place.
A Spokeswoman from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence told TheBlaze the FBI is the lead agency tracking down this claim, saying that while the investigation is ongoing, the Chairman would not make further comments.
H/T: The Chicago Tribune.
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