Image: A screengrab shows Snowden speaking via video conference during a panel discussion on internet privacy at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin
ACLU via Reuters

Meet the Press   |  March 23, 2014

Rogers: NSA Leaker Snowden Under Russian Influence

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers defends comments made previously on Meet the Press about NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> a couple other areas quickly. on the issue of the nsa surveillance and edward snowden , when you were last on this program, you were very pointed suggesting that he may have had help from the russians that edward snowden may have been a russian spy . maybe a russian spy . he's called that absurd. no new details have come to light on this. were you irresponsible in making such a charge without having specific evidence to back it up to just sort of float that out there?

>> well, first of all, i see all the intelligence and all the evidence from everything from his activities leading up to this event to vet suspicious activity during the event. so when you talk to the folks doing the investigation, they cannot rule it out. so here's what we know, david. we know today no counter intelligence official in the united states does not believe na mr. snowden , the nsa contractor, is not under the influence of russian intelligence services. we believe he is. i certainly believe he is today. now we all agree that he's under the influence of russian intelligence services today for the investigators, they need to figure out, whether he did that influence start and was he interested in cooperating earlier than the timeline would suggest. so you're talking to a guy who stole information who is now in the arms of intelligence services saying, well, gosh, whatever you guys say is absurd. only i can define the truth. that's ridiculous on its face. i do believe there's more to this story. he is under the influence of russian interrogation officials today. he's actually supporting in an odd way this very activity of brazen brutality in expansionism of russia. he needs to understand that. i think americans need to understand that. we need to put it in proper context.

>> what is the evidence that he is under that influence? as is he has pointed out, why go to hong kong when he originally got to russia, he was stranded in the airport. that's no way to treat a spy. he has pointed out. you're arguing a lot. where is the evidence to suggest he's under the influence of a foreign intelligence agency?

>> again, today, we believe he's under the influence and every countert intelligence official believes that. you won't find often who doesn't believe he's under the influence. that we can agree on. it's whether he did that start that -- i think there is really good evidence, and this case is the more we look into this, the more you're going to find that that date gets further and further away from his story. matter of fact, i don't believe the story he tells about both the airport or his activities in hong kong are accurate. it just gets more complicated, and as i said, he's clearly in moscow under the influence of intelligence services for a country that is expanding its borders today using military force . i think there's a lot more questions that need to be answered here.

>> we're going to leave it there. chairman rogers, thank you as always.

>> thanks for having me. our