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NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden tonight formally denied all claims that he has aided the Russian government.
“I have no relationship with the Russian government at all,” claimed Snowden during his first American television interview. “I’ve never met the Russian president. I’m not supported by the Russian government. I’m not a spy,” he claimed.
Reiterating past claims, Snowden stated that Russia could not compromise any information because he carried no documents with him to Russia. Snowden claimed that he instead opted to destroy information before traveling to Russia and is not able to remotely access leaked documents.
Snowden’s statements contradict the claims of numerous U.S. officials as well as audacious statements made by former KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin.
Early claims from Congressman Michael McCaul, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn, and Congressman Mike Rogers suggested that Snowden shared documents with Russia upon his arrival to Moscow. Later, former NSA Director Michael V. Hayden told VentureBeat that he “would lose all respect for Russia if they haven’t fully exploited Snowden.”
Yet no evidence of such an exchange has emerged.
During the same interview, Snowden stated that the NSA said ‘stop asking questions’ after he raised concerns.