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Ted Cruz Reserving Judgement on Whether NSA Leaker Is a 'Patriot' or a 'Traitor

"We need to determine what his motives were."

Getty Images

Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Tuesday declined to label admitted NSA leaker Edward Snowden a "patriot" or a "traitor," saying more facts are needed first.

"I don’t know if what Mr. Snowden has said is true or false," Cruz said during an event hosted by TheBlaze in Washington. "We need to determine that. We need to determine what his motives were, whether he was telling the truth."

He continued, "If it is the case that the federal government is seizing millions of personal records about law-abiding citizens, and if it is the case that there are minimal restrictions on accessing or reviewing those records, then I think Mr. Snowden has done a considerable public service by bringing it to light."

Snowden identified himself as the source of information about two secret National Security Agency programs revealed in media reports last week. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) adamantly described him as a "traitor," while Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has similarly declined to label him.

Cruz left open the possibility of backing prosecution for Snowden.

"If Mr. Snowden has violated the laws of this country, there are consequences to violating laws and that is something he has publicly stated he understands and I think the law needs to be enforced," Cruz said.

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