Secretary of State John Kerry chided National Security Agency leak source Edward Snowden on Wednesday, telling him he “should man up and come back to the United States.”
Kerry’s comments came as Snowden’s extensive interview with NBC’s Brian Williams is set to air Wednesday night. Kerry was asked about an excerpt from the interview in which Snowden said he was trained by the U.S. government as a “spy,” something that countered the Obama administration’s previous assertions he was a low-level analyst.
Kerry dismissed Snowden’s comments as twisting language, and he criticized Snowden for seeking asylum in “authoritarian” Russia.
“If he has a complaint about what’s wrong with American surveillance, come back here and stand in our system of justice and make his case,” Kerry said.
“But instead he’s just sitting there taking pot shots at his country, violating his oath that he took when he took on the job he took, and betraying, I think, the fundamental agreement that he entered into when he became an employee. “