National Security

Snowden Earned $1.2 Million From Speaking Events in Exile

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Edward Snowden has reportedly earned $1.2 million in speaking fees while living in exile in Russia, according to a court filing by the Justice Department reported by Politico.

Speaking at virtual engagements all over the world, the former National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower has earned up to $50,000 for individual events. The filing shows that Snowden was paid to speak at 67 events for institutions including universities and private companies.

Snowden in 2019 also published Permanent Record, which included highly sensitive national security information and became a New York Times bestseller.

President Donald Trump told reporters at a Saturday news conference he was considering pardoning Snowden for his leak of national security information.

"I’m not that aware of the Snowden situation," Trump said. "Many people think he should be somehow treated differently and other people think he did very bad things…. I’m going to take a look at that very strongly."

President Trump’s comments sparked bipartisan uproar, particularly from prominent Republican lawmakers.

"Edward Snowden is a traitor. He is responsible for the largest and most damaging release of classified info in U.S. history," Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) tweeted Sunday. "He handed over U.S. secrets to Russian and Chinese intelligence putting our troops and our nation at risk. Pardoning him would be unconscionable."

"I’m confident President Trump understands the crimes committed by Snowden resulted in American forces—and those who assisted us throughout the world—being placed in greater danger," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said Monday. 

Before his election, President Trump had previously called Snowden a "traitor" and "spy who should be executed."