The White House reiterated calls on Monday for former government contractor Edward Snowden to face charges in the United States, apparently rejecting suggestions by a top spy official that the US could consider an amnesty deal.
The National Security Agency official Rick Ledgett, leader of an investigation into the leak, indicated in an interview on Sunday that the NSA could consider a deal if Snowden relinquished remaining classified documents he has not yet released to the public.
In a CBS interview, Ledgett that it was “worth having a conversation about” a deal with Snowden if he could prove that the rest of an estimated 1.7 million stolen documents are secure.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Ledgett was expressing only his personal opinion.
“Mr Snowden has been accused of leaking classified information, and he faces felony charges here in the United States. He should be returned to the United States, as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process and protections in our system,” Carney said.
“So that's our position, and it has not changed.”
A group assigned by President Barack Obama to review surveillance practices in the wake of the NSA spying revelations submitted its report on Friday, and Obama plans to announce changes next month.
Carney said the review had examined all aspects of the surveillance, including concerns raised by allies upset by revelations of mass spying on their citizens and leaders. - Sapa-dpa