President Obama said Friday that he believes Edward Snowden – the whistleblower who revealed that the National Security Agency was collecting metadata and phone records of every American – was not a patriot for his leaking of classified documents.
Obama, speaking at his first news conference since April, was responding to a question from NBC’s Chuck Todd about Snowden. “No, I don’t think Mr. Snowden was a patriot,” Obama said before reiterating that as a senator he called for a review of the Patriot Act.
“If in fact he believes that what he did was right, then, like every American citizen, he can come here, appear before the court with a lawyer and make his case,” Obama said. “If the concern was that this was the only way to get this information out to the public, I signed an executive order – well before Mr. Snowden leaked this information – that provided whistleblower protection to the intelligence community for the first time.”
Obama did not mention that his administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other administration in history.