WASHINGTON – A plea for clemency made by Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor who fled to Russia after leaking classified information about surveillance methods used by the United States, was rejected by the White House as well as the heads of the top intelligence agencies in the country.
That’s the message Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer relayed on ABC’s “This Week,” adding that no such offers for clemency are being discussed and that Snowden should return to the U.S. and face charges.
“Look, Mr. Snowden violated U.S. law,” Pfeiffer said. “Our belief has always been that he should return to the U.S. and face justice.”
Pfeiffer’s comments were echoed by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein of California and Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan who called clemency for Snowden “a terrible idea.”
Feinstein says Snowden broke the law, when he could have privately reported his revelations to her committee.
Both Feinstein and Rogers appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“I would welcome Snowden being brought back here,” said former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden, who also appeared on the program.
Rogers calls clemency for Snowden a "terrible idea."
Snowden, who has temporary asylum in Russia, made the plea in a letter released Friday.
Also on Sunday, the German magazine Der Spiegel published an open letter, purporting to be from Snowden, which said that the U.S. and Britain are among the "worst offenders" of mass surveillance without oversight. However, the letter added, "mass surveillance is a global problem and needs a global solution."
The letter defended Snowden's actions in leaking NSA documents to the Washington Post, the Guardian newspaper in Britain, and other publications by claiming that his actions were bringing about change.
"The debate they wanted to avoid is now taking place in countries around the world," the letter said, "and instead of causing damage, the use of this new public knowledge is causing society to push for political reforms, oversight and new laws."
Over on NBC, former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney called out Obama’s “fundamental dishonesty” on the Affordable Care Act and says the president “put in peril the whole foundation of his second term.”
Speaking on “Meet the Press,” Romney says the White House promises over ObamaCare, its ease and perceived benefits, has undermined the president’s credibility.
“Had the president been truthful and told the American people that millions would lose their insurance and millions more would see their premiums skyrocket…there would have been such a hue and cry against it.”
The architect of the Affordable Care Act insisted on “Fox News Sunday” that Obama isn’t to blame for the rocky rollout of ObamaCare and deflected charges that the administration misled Americans about being able to keep their current health plans.
Ezekiel Emanuel, a bioethicist, was part of the president’s health care reform team for two years and is the brother of former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
“We grandfathered in plans,” Emanuel said.
Host Chris Wallace pressed Emanuel to defend the growing number of cancellation notices sent to people whose plans changed after the law was implemented, but Emanuel could not.
Instead, he blamed much of the problems on insurance companies and not the new law.