Nightly News   |  August 01, 2013

Snowden’s father: ‘I want him to survive’

After more than five weeks in Moscow’s airport, NSA leaker Edward Snowden is no longer a man without a country. But his newfound asylum has angered White House and further strained relations with Russia. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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>>> we turn to news from overseas tonight. russia today offered at least a temporary home to edward snowden . the american who leaked those government secrets on extensive data mining operations. he was today allowed temporary asylum in russia , that means a ticket out of the airport where he has been living. it has angered the u.s., of course, because he is still wanted here. our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell following all of it in our d.c. newsroom tonight. andrea, good evening.

>> reporter: the white house is so angry about russian president putin granting asigh lum despite a personal appeal to send hem home to stand trial that officials are re-evaluating whether to hold a planned summit with putin in moscow next month.

>> reporter: after more than five weeks in terminal f. edward snowden is no longer a man what a country. this travel document issued with no warning to the u.s. lets him live in russia at least a year. the white house did not hide its outrage.

>> we are extremely disappointed that the russian government would take this step despite our clear and lawful requests and public and in private to have mr. snowden , snowden , expelled to the united states to face the charges against him.

>> reporter: why would russia 's strong man, putin risk cooperation with the u.s. over the snowden affair. nbc's jim maceda --

>> reporter: they believe the u.s. russian relationship is too important to fail and the snowden saga will blow over leaving putin looking strong to fellow russians. and president obama on the defensive.

>> reporter: but putin always flamboyant even while fishing may have overplayed his hand.

>> they could have acted to diffuse this with the united states . they didn't do any of those things. they acted instead to throw a punch at the united states . that is a very serious thing for the relationship.

>> reporter: the u.s. blames putin for arming syria's president assad. now some senators are demanding the u.s. boycott next winter's olympics in russia . the leaks keep coming. wednesday the guardian's glen greenwald revealed an nsa search program, x-ski score, allowing the government to analyze e-mail, online chat and browsing history. the nsa said everything it does is legal. snowden 's russian lawyer, snowden released secrets in china that could be published.

>> he advised me himself when he was in hong kong he gave a part of the material to journalists that material of course he can't take back.

>> reporter: snowden 's father says he is grateful to the russian people for taking his son.

>> i want him to survive. i am a man who loves my son and i love my country. so this, as the best situation for him at this time.

>> reporter: snowden is staying in an undisclosed location in russia . the president met with congressional leaders to discuss limits on the secret surveillance programs a direct result of snowden 's disclosures so far.

>> andrea mitchell , thank you.