Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called Edward Snowden a “coward” for not returning to the U.S. to stand trial, and called on the White House to suggest that the location of the 2013 G-20 summit be moved out of Russia.
“Russia has stabbed us in the back, and each day that Snowden is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife,” Schumer told reporters at the Capitol Thursday.
Russia announced Thursday that it had given the NSA leaker temporary asylum, allowing him to move out of a Moscow airport.
In retaliation for this move, Schumer said, the president should suggest moving the G-20 summit, currently scheduled for St. Petersburg in September.
“I’ve spoken with the White House … and I think they’re frustrated with Mr. Putin as well,” he said.
The New York senator further argued that Snowden should not be seen as engaging in civil disobedience.
“If Mr. Snowden had the courage of his convictions, he would come back to the country, stand trial, and tell the American people and a jury why he thought what he did was justified,” Schumer said. “Mr. Snowden is a coward, who has chosen to run and consort with countries like Russia, like China … that have far fewer liberties than we do.”