Edward Snowden says that while he was inspired by President Obama's election, he's disappointed that Obama "embraced" or "extended" the surveillance policies of President Bush.
In his exclusive interview with "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams, Snowden would not say if he voted for Obama, arguing that should be kept private.
"Whether or not I voted for President Obama, I was inspired by him. He gave me courage, he gave me hope. I really believed that he would be a positive force for the country," Snowden said.
"And I still hope he will be."
Snowden said Obama has failed to carry through on a pledge to reverse some of the policies of his predecessor.
"He's embraced the policies and he's extended the policies," the former NSA contractor said.
"He's not Bush. He's his own president. But the consonance in the policies should be concerning for a lot of Americans because he was a candidate that promised that he would give the public back its seat at the table of government.
"And he still has time to do so."
For his first American television interview, Snowden met for about five hours last week with Williams at a hotel in Moscow, where Snowden is living in exile while facing U.S. felony charges.
An hour-long special program based on the interview aired Wednesday on NBC News.
—Matthew Cole and Tracy Connor
First published May 29 2014, 1:20 PM