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Trump’s Pick For CIA Director Thinks Edward Snowden Should Be Executed


On Friday, President-elect Donald Trump officially started announcing his nominees for various presidential appointments:. While Attorney General hopeful Jeff Sessions’ nomination has become contentious due to past allegations of racism, the others are getting scrutinized in their own way. Specifically, potential Director of Central Intelligence Mike Pompeo, currently of the House Intelligence Committee, is getting extra attention for his past statements about NSA leaker Edward Snowden deserving the death penalty.

During a February 11th appearance on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” Pompeo brought up Snowden during a discussion about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State. Pompe0 was using Snowden to explain how the large caches of documents that he took were still stored much more securely than Clinton’s emails. “It’s absolutely the case that we have not been able to secure all of the American information that we needed to, and that we’ve had the traitor Edward Snowden steal that information,” Pompeo explained.

“He should be brought back from Russia and given due process,” Pompeo said, “and I think that the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence for having put friends of mine, friends of yours, in the military today, at enormous risk because of the information he stole and then released to foreign powers.” Pompeo is uniquely familiar with and especially passionate about Snowden, to the point that in September, he took the unusual step of issuing his own press release to supplement the House Intelligence Committee’s letter urging President Barack Obama not to pardon the leaker.

“Snowden is not a whistleblower by any definition and never even sought to bring his concerns to oversight officials,” Pompeo wrote. “He is, however, a liar and a criminal.” Taking a less extreme position than the one he took on C-SPAN seven months earlier, Pompeo closed the release by stating that “the appropriate action would be to send Snowden to prison, not give him a pardon. ”

[Photo: C-SPAN screen grab]

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David Bixenspan is a writer, editor, and podcaster based in New York.