President Obama made it clear that hebis not going to contact leaders in China or Russia to get NSA leaker Edward Snowden because, according to Obama, he “shouldn’t have to.”
Obama said he hasn’t called Russian President Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping because the damage to America’s national security has already been done, and there’s no need for “wheeling and dealing.”
In his comments, President Obama seemed to be trying to reduce the tensions surrounding the hunt for Snowden, stressing that it’s more important to prevent future breaches than to damage relationships in the hunt for Snowden.
“I am interested in making sure that the rules of extradition are obeyed,” said Obama. “Now, we don’t have an extradition treaty with Russia, which makes it more complicated. You don’t have to have an extradition treaty to resolve some of these issues. There have been some useful conversations that have taken place between the United States government and the Russian government, and my continued expectation is that Russia or other countries that have talked about potentially providing Mr. Snowden asylum recognize that they are part of an international community and that they should be abiding by international law. And we’ll continue to press them as hard as we can to make sure that they do so. But let me — one last thing because you asked the final question. No, I’m not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.”
Snowden was working as a contractor with a security clearance when he released information to journalist Glenn Greenwald that revealed the NSA’s widespread surveillance techniques.