Attorney General Bill Barr typically maintains a united front with President Trump in public but revealed on Friday that he
“vehemently” disagrees with one of Trump’s recently-announced positions.
Barr, in a Friday interview with the Associated Press, ended any speculation that he would approve of a potential pardon for National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, a shocking departure from Trump’s position that a pardon should be strongly considered.
Snowden has been characterized as a “traitor” by many on the right for leaking a slew of classified NSA documents in 2013. Snowden was charged with espionage but escaped to Russia where he has been living in exile since the event.
Trump, who previously characterized Snowden as a “terrible traitor” during his 2016 campaign, has reversed his position. Trump shocked the nation by announcing at a press conference last week that he’s “going to take a very good look” at pardoning Snowden.
Bill Barr told the AP that “[Snowden] was a traitor and the information he provided our adversaries greatly hurt the safety of the American people. He was peddling it around like a commercial merchant. We can’t tolerate that.”
Snowden has indicated that he wishes to return to the US but fears he will not be granted a fair trial.
President Trump has yet to respond to Barr’s opposition at the time this report was published.