January 20, 2014
From the Telegraph:
Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein suggested that Mr Snowden, a 30-year-old former contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) at a Hawaii listening post, may have had foreign assistance.
Mr Rogers, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, described Mr Snowden, who claimed asylum in Russia after fleeing to Hong Kong, as “a thief who we believe had some help.” “I don’t think it was a gee-whiz luck event that he ended up in Moscow under the handling of the FSB,” said Mr Rogers, who told NBC’s Meet The Press: “I don’t think that’s a coincidence”.
Asked whether Mr Snowden had foreign assistance, Ms Feinstein, the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, told the same programme: “He may well have. We don’t know at this stage.” Mr Snowden made copies of an estimated 1.7 million documents, according to a classified report by the Defence Intelligence Agency that has been cited by Mr Rogers, some of which were passed to The Guardian and Washington Post newspapers.
He has repeatedly stressed that he only released documents on NSA surveillance out of concerns for the privacy of Americans, and said he no longer held them by the time he arrived in Russia. He has said that Chinese and Russian authorities have not been given any access to his files.