Nightly News   |  June 23, 2013

Snowden on the move, US revokes passport

Edward Snowden, who faces felony charges in the U.S. for allegedly revealing secrets about government surveillance programs, fled Hong Kong for Moscow this morning and is believed to be seeking asylum in Ecuador. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

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>>> wanted by the u.s. for spilling classified secrets about the government surveillance programs is on the run tonight in a move that caught everyone by surprise. edward snowden hopsd a flight out of hong kong early this morning our time headed for moscow. but his journey will parentally not end there as he looks to find asylum in ecuador . so far diplomat overturs to bring him into u.s. custody have failed. first, kristen welker with more on how he successfully broke from hiding.

>> reporter: tonight the obama administration is blasting hopping congress to let him leave when he diplomat have a valid passport. now state department officials are reaching out to the countries are snowden may travel, their maej. don't let him in and send him back to the u.s. edward snowden on the move and dodging espionage charges. this morning he landed in moscow aboard a russian jetliner. after kneeing hong kong .

>> i want to get him caught and brought back for trial.

>> they should use every legal avenue we have to bring him back to the united states .

>> the move infire waiting and embarrassing washington. ian williams is in hopping congress.

>> reporter: the government here is saying that legally it was powerless to stop him. they blamed that on the american paperwork saying that the request for the arrest warrant diplomat fully comply with the hong kong law .

>> reporter: they revoked his passport yesterday before he left hong kong . but they said in a statement, persons wanted on felony charges such as mr. snowden should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel other than is necessary to return him to the united states . it is believed he is planning to wind up in ecuador a country that granted asylum to julian assange. bound for the republic of ed with a door via a safe route for the purposes of asylum. in a tweet, ecuador 's foreign minister said he contacted the country seeking asylum. countries grant asylum if a person can prove they have a legitimate fear of prosecution.

>> the law is -- be yongd the law, it's going to be essentially the exercise of state craft and u.s. power.

>> reporter: ever since he leaked documents revealing the government's expansive program of internet records, debate has swirled. nsa director.

>> what he has revealed as caused irreserve i believe and significant damage to our ail liz and our country.

>> he believes that its vital that he stay out of the clutches of the u.s. government because of the record of the obama administration on people who disclose wrongdoing of what political officials are doing in the dark.

>> reporter: now legal experts say they can decide to waive passport requirements.

>> kristen welker starting us off.