Senators Blast Putin Over Snowden
Senators lashed out Thursday in response to news that Russian President Vladimir Putin was granting temporary asylum to Edward Snowden.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Snowden has blood on his hands, but he declined to offer intelligence to explain that comment in an interview with CNN set to air later today.
Asked by Wolf Blitzer what he would say to Snowden if they met face to face, Graham replied: “You’ve gotten some people killed probably, no matter what your motives were. The results of your conduct has put some very brave people at risk. You’ve compromised our nation at a time when radical Islam is on the move. We need to find out what these guys are up to.”
Separately, New York Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer called on President Barack Obama to push to relocate the upcoming G-20 summit.
“When Mr. Putin first allowed Mr. Snowden to enter Russia and remain at the airport, it was a clear poke in the eye of the United States. By allowing him to leave the airport, and remain in Russia, he has taken the situation a step further and put our relationship with Russia in even greater danger,” Schumer said.
Graham and Schumer previously introduced a resolution encouraging moving the G-20 meeting.
“Russia has stabbed us in the back,” Schumer said, appearing before cameras in the Capitol.
Schumer and Graham aren’t alone. Sen. Bill Nelson was one of several senators issuing statements on the issue.
“Putin is thumbing his nose at the U.S. and there is a price to pay for that,” the Florida Democrat said.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the administration was “extremely disappointed” by the Russian action, and said the administration was re-evaluating a possible summit in Moscow. But he demurred repeatedly on whether the decision would have any material effect on the relationship between the two countries.