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Chinese newspaper says Snowden took job at NSA to gain access to confidential data

Edward Snowden, the man accused of stealing information from the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance programs and then leaking it to the press, admitted he took the job so he’d have access to confidential materials, the South China Morning Post reported Monday.  

Snowden worked as a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton for three months at an NSA facility in Hawaii. Snowden told the Asian newspaper in a June 12 interview that was published June 24, that he took the job as a systems administrator because it gave him access to the records he sought.

"My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked," Snowden said, according to the article. "That is why I accepted that position about three months ago."

Snowden gave the top-secret documents to The Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers that revealed sweeping U.S. surveillance programs that collected the phone records and Internet data on American citizens.

Over the weekend, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, estimated that Snowden may still have more than 200 sensitive documents in his possession.

Snowden had been hiding in Hong Kong after he revealed his identity. Snowden has reportedly made his way to Russia. 

The White House said Monday they believe Snowden remains in Russia and says U.S. officials are working with Moscow in hopes that Snowden will be forced to leave the country and return to America where he will face criminal charges.

Click for more from the South China Morning Post.