Russia considering handing Edward Snowden back - report

  • 11/02/2017
Edward Snowden (file)
Edward Snowden (file)

Russia is considering handing NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden back to the US as a "gift", according to reports.

US President Donald Trump, whose own ties to Russia are being investigated, has in the past called Mr Snowden a "spy who should be executed".

Mr Snowden leaked thousands of secret NSA documents in 2013, and has been in asylum in Russia since then.

NBC News reports US intelligence agencies now believe Russia is planning to hand him over to "curry favour" with the Trump administration.

Mr Snowden's lawyer told NBC News they've not been advised of any impending trade.

"Team Snowden has received no such signals and has no new reason for concern," said Ben Wizner.

Mr Snowden himself tweeted if the report is true, it proves he's not a spy.

"Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel. No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they're next," he wrote.

The White House declined to comment. A spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin called the report "nonsense".

Mr Snowden faces 30 years in prison if convicted.

Former US President Barack Obama commuted whistleblower Chelsea Manning's sentence, but made no moves to help Mr Snowden.