Policy: National Security

House Intelligence chairman suggests Russian spies helped Edward Snowden hack NSA

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,National Security,NSA,Edward Snowden,Surveillance,Vladimir Putin,Mike Rogers

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden had outside help, perhaps from Russian spies, according to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

"This was a thief, who we believe had some help, who stole information the vast majority had nothing to do with privacy." Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., who heads up the intel panel, told NBC's "Meet the Press" in an interview that will air Sunday. "Our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines have been incredibly harmed by the data that he has taken with him and we believe now is in the hands of nation-states." NBC released an excerpt of the interview late Saturday.

"First of all, if it was a privacy concern he had, he didn't look for information on the privacy side for Americans," Rogers explained. "He was stealing information that had to do with how we operate overseas to collect information to keep Americans safe. That begs the question. And some of the things he did were beyond his technical capabilities. Raises more questions. How he arranged travel before he left. How he was ready to go, he had a 'go bag,' if you will."

Rogers added that he "believe[s] there's a reason he ended up in the hands, the loving arms, of an FSB agent in Moscow. I don't think that's a coincidence."

FSB an acronym for the Russian Federal Security Service, a counter-intelligence agency "that occupies the former headquarters of the KGB on Lubyanka Square in downtown Moscow."

President Obama canceled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, after the Russians granted Snowden asylum.

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