Attorney General Bill Barr says he is "vehemently opposed" to the president pardoning former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. President Trump on Saturday floated the idea of pardoning Snowden, who was charged with disclosing classified information about government surveillance programs in 2013.
Barr, in an interview with the Associated Press, said, "He was a traitor and the information he provided our adversaries greatly hurt the safety of the American people. He was peddling it around like a commercial merchant. We can't tolerate that."
Mr. Trump had suggested he would "look at" pardoning Snowden in a news conference.
"There are many, many people — it seems to be a split decision that many people think that he should be somehow treated differently, and other people think he did very bad things," Mr. Trump said. "And I'm going to take a very good look at it."
Snowden is currently living in exile in Russia. In anlast September, Snowden said he would like to return home, but the U.S. won't agree to a fair trial.
"I would like to return to the United States. That is the ultimate goal. But if I'm gonna spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom-line demand that we have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial. And that is the one thing the government has refused to guarantee because they won't provide access to what's called a public interest defense," Snowden told "CBS This Morning."