NBC News on Friday, an unnamed “US senior official” claimed that the Russian government was actively considering the possibility of handing over Snowden “to curry favor” with President Trump.
The official alleged that he had come to a conclusion of Russia’s alleged intentions upon studying a “series of highly sensitive intelligence reports.”
NBC and a US Intelligence official, standard DNC non-sense.
A US intelligence source cited in the piece said that the intelligence, allegedly containing thoughts by Russian officials on how to cater to the current administration, have been collected since Trump’s inauguration on January 20.
But Snowden’s lawyer in Russia, Anatoly Kucherena, said he did not believe that Russia was prepared to extradite Snowden anytime soon.
“Russia has no legal basis to hand over Snowden,” he told Interfax. “All this talk is just ordinary speculation. Someone is indulging in wishful thinking.”
“Someone in Washington, DC, really wants an innocent man to be sent to the United States,” he added. “Russia does not trade in human beings and human rights, although American intelligence agencies are always trying to drag us into various provocations.”
Snowden’s American lawyer, Ben Wizner, appeared to be in the dark about a possible radical change of his client’s status, telling NBC News that nothing would indicate such a move.
“Team Snowden has received no such signals and has no new reason for concern,” Wizner said.
While the latest report has not attracted any attention from Moscow yet, in January the idea of Russia utilizing Snowden as an “inauguration gift” for Trump was slammed by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova as an “ideology of betrayal.”
Back then the suggestion came from the former CIA director Michael Morell, who alleged that by presenting newly-sworn US President with Snowden, Russia not only would court Trump, but also make a “poke…in the eye of [Putin’s adversary] Barack Obama.”
Zakharova argued that by proposing to trade Snowden for a potential favor, Morell shows that “it is normal [for CIA] to present people as gifts and give up those who seek protection.”