Following another round of accusations that he is a spy, probably for Russia, Edward Snowden spoke to The New Yorker's Jane Mayer to once again deny that he was working for another country when he leaked all those NSA documents.
Both Meet the Press and This Week took Snowden on, with Rep. Mike McCaul telling George Stephanopoulos that he believed Snowden was a traitor and "cultivated by a foreign power to do what he did" -- though he would not say which foreign power he suspected. Rep. Mike Rogers was more specific, telling David Gregory he didn't think it was a coincidence that Snowden ended up in Moscow, and Snowden had "some help" in his actions.
Now Snowden is talking. He told Mayer that Russia was never his ulimate intended destination, pointing out that he was "stuck in the airport forever." (Actually, 40 days. Which probably seemed like forever.) "Spies get treated better than that," he said.
Snowden then turned to the media who have allowed speculation about him and his motives to proliferate:
'It's not the smears that mystify me,' Snowden told me. 'It's that outlets report statements that the speakers themselves admit are sheer speculation.' Snowden went on to poke fun at the range of allegations that have been made against him in the media without intelligence officials providing some kind of factual basis: ''We don't know if he had help from aliens.' 'You know, I have serious questions about whether he really exists.''
He added that he was surprised that the "massive media institutions" don't have an "editorial position on this."
Stephanopoulos defended his show by pointing out that he asked McCaul two follow-up questions "and got as much as the congressman was going to give up." Everyone knows that journalists aren't supposed to keep asking questions when someone isn't willing to answer them, so this makes sense.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.