Face the Nation transcripts June 23, 2013: Feinstein, Corker, Sessions, and more

Immigration reform, Syria, the NSA and more with Senators Dianne Feinstein, Bob Corker and Jeff Sessions
Immigration reform, Syria, the NSA and more w... 47:06

(CBS News) Below is a transcript of "Face the Nation" on June 23, 2013, hosted by CBS News' Bob Schieffer. Guests include: Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Cal., Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. Plus, a panel featuring The Wall Street Journal's Gerald Seib, USA Today's Susan Page, Time Magazine's Bobby Ghosh, and CBS News' John Dickerson, Bob Orr, and Major Garrett.

REPORTER: Heading for what supporter say is political asylum, the fugitive whistleblower leaves Hong Kong.

SCHIEFFER: Big news overnight. Edward Snowden fled Hong Kong on a Russian commercial airliner, and there are reports he may be headed to another communist country. We'll get the latest from CBS Justice Correspondent, Bob Orr. And we'll talk to the Head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Diane Feinstein. Plus, we'll talk about the battle over immigration. Tennessee's Republican Senator Bob Corker says this.

CORKER: We have an opportunity to do something that America needs, and that is to solve the immigration issue that we have.

SCHIEFFER: Alabama's Republican Senator Jeff Sessions has a different take.

SESSIONS: We all favor a good immigration reform package. This bill is just not it.

SCHIEFFER: They'll both be here to talk about it, and whether House Republicans will sign on to any immigration bill. We'll have analysis from Susan Page of USA Today, Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine's Bobby Ghosh and our own John Dickerson. We'll cover it all, because this is Face the Nation.

ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington, Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer.

SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. Well, we're going to start with the big news from overnight. Edward Snowden has gone to Moscow. We want to go first to Moscow, and Kevin O'Flynn who is on the ground for CBS News.

O'FLYNN: Yeah, I'm at Sheremetyevo Airport, and that's right, with -- Edward Snowden arrived just over an hour ago. There are reports actually saying that there were two cars waiting for him outside the plane, and he was taken off the plane and put in one of those cars and (inaudible) in the other car and then taken off, but we don't know where. I mean the plan is supposed to be that he will fly out of this airport tomorrow to Havana. Technically he -- he can't come into the airport himself, he must stay within the transit zone. So where he actually is in the transit zone, nobody knows. At the moment there are -- well, there's more than a hundred journalists waiting for the passengers of the Hong Kong Moscow flights, asking people if the new him, if they saw him on the flight. But to be honest, just nobody really realized that he was on the flight with them. So at the moment, people are just wondering where he is right now. There have been reports that it was the Venezuelan embassy which took him away, or maybe Ecuadorian embassy, but nobody really knows right now.

SCHIEFFER: Nobody really knows right now. Bob Orr and Major Garrett are with us this morning. Bob, you've been on this story from the very beginning. I mean -- I mean what other weird turn could this -- this thing take? It's like now reports that he's going to other communist -- like sort of a tour of communist countries around the world?

ORR: Yeah. I don't underestimate the next strange twist. I mean this movie isn't over yet, Bob. I don't know where it ends. But the reporting out of Moscow, if we can believe that, says either he's headed for Cuba, and then ultimately Caracas, Venezuela, or he might be headed to Ecuador. In either case, it's highly problematic for the U.S. The Justice Department has put down charges that include charges under the Espionage Act. And I don't think either of those countries would want a play on it.

SCHIEFFER: And Major Garrett, just -- just yesterday we had this extradition request to Hong Kong. What happened?

GARRETT: The United States doesn't know what happened. It put together what it said, and thought were really good charges, that represented everything that we could legally prosecute Edward Snowden for. Thought there was an agreement with the Hong Kong authorities. After Tom Donilon confirmed to our Mark Knoller yesterday that in fact we have put this whole process together. The administration let it be known if Hong Kong did not cooperate, it would complicate all of our relationships with Hong Kong, and by extension, China. Well, now obviously those relations are complicated, and yet another relationship is severely tested, that with Russia. Because clearly Vladimir Putin is allowing the services of his airport, and the various perimeters that are being placed around Edward Snowden, to exist in the first place. He's put himself, at least for 24 hours, in the middle of this story.

SCHIEFFER: I think Chuck Schumer -- Senator Schumer of New York said this morning, Putin just kind of likes to stick his finger in our eye. And it looks like this -- there may be something to that?

ORR: I think that's right. I think the problem here, Bob was that the U.S. Justice Department had to craft charged that would fit under the extradition treaty. Charges that would be applicable in Hong Kong. They thought they had a deal. But when we learned on Friday, when they unsealed this, when we learned the charges were, two that were under the Espionage Act, I think some people raised eyebrows saying, will that really fly over there? Because that can be construed, depending on your viewpoint, as a political prosecution. That's not the way the U.S. authorities see it. But if the Hong Kong authorities and the Chinese authorities view that as a political prosecution, then they would stand back and not make the arrest. And apparently that's what happened.

SCHIEFFER: Well -- well, Major did we drop a stitch here? Or did in fact the Hong Kong authorities just use a technicality to do what they wanted to do?