June 28, 2013 6:54am PT by THR Staff
Edward Snowden's Father on 'Today': My Son Is Not a Traitor (Video)
NSA leaker Edward Snowden's father says in an interview with the Today show that he thinks his son did not commit treason in leaking secret documents that exposed government surveillance operations. Snowden's father also raises concerns about "those who surround" his son.
"I love him. I would like to have the opportunity to communicate with him. I don't want to put him in peril, but I am concerned about those who surround him," Lonnie Snowden said in a segment that aired Friday on the NBC morning program.
"I think WikiLeaks, if you've looked at past history, their focus isn't necessarily the Constitution of the United States. It's simply to release as much information as possible. So that alone is a concern for me," Snowden's father added. "You know, at this point I don't feel that he's committed treason. He has, in fact, broken U.S. law in the sense that he has released classified information. And if folks want to classify him as a traitor -- in fact, he has betrayed his government. But I don't believe that he's betrayed the people of the United States."
The ex-NSA contractor, meanwhile, is off the grid. He flew to Moscow earlier this week and has reportedly been receiving guidance from WikiLeaks in an attempt to seek refuge in Ecuador, where he has been granted asylum. Julian Assange, the director of the controversial nonprofit, is currently being housed in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.