US President Donald Trump is “very strongly” looking at pardoning whistleblower Edward Snowden, he told the New York Post on August 13. This is significant volte-face by Trump who has previously repeatedly called Snowden a "traitor". On August 17, Trump said that he would pardon "someone very important" on Tuesday but it wouldn't be Snowden. “There are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly. I mean, I hear that,” Trump reportedly said. He further said that the Department of Justice was looking to extradite him and that that was “certainly something I could look at”. “Many people are on his side, I will say that. I don’t know him, never met him. But many people are on his side,” Trump said. He said that he had “heard it both ways” — that he is a traitor and that is being persecuted. In a November 2016 interview with Der Spiegel, a few days after Trump won the electoral college vote to become the presidents, Obama had said, "I can't pardon somebody who hasn't gone before a court and presented themselves, so that's not something that I would comment on at this point." He had acknowledged that Snowden had "raised some legitimate concerns" but criticised his approach and adopted the age-old binary between privacy and security. Trump was talking to the Post in the context of President Barack Obama’s alleged spying on his 2016 campaign. In January 2020, the Department of Justice had submitted before the…
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