Senator: Russian Prime Minister Putin’s acceptance of Edward Snowden ‘a finger in the eye’ of U.S.

By Lona Panter
Sunday, June 23, 2013 14:13 EDT
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U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer speaks on State of the Union regarding Russia's acceptance of NSA leaker Edward Snowden
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U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday said he believes Vladimir Putin personally approved allowing NSA leaker Edward Snowden to travel to Moscow, adding that the Russian prime minister had purposefully antagonized the United States.

“Allies are supposed to treat each other in decent ways,” he said, “and Putin always seems almost eager to put a finger in the eye of the United States …”

The senator added that he believed Russia’s acceptance of Snowden would have a serious impact on the relationship between the two countries, especially due to the likelihood that top government officials knew Snowden planned to leave Hong Kong, where he had been hiding, for Moscow.

“Something at this level, in a state-controlled country … I believe it’s almost certain that he knew and likely approved it,” Schumer said.

The Senator was vague on just how the incident would affect the relationship between the two countries.

“Who knows?” he asked. “… There are many different kinds of relationships that are political, diplomatic and economic and I don’t think we can just shrug our shoulders and say, ‘This is just how Putin is.’”

State of the Union host Candy Crowley asked Schumer if he believed U.S. diplomats were trying to work with Russia to hold Snowden.

“Absolutely, it’s very, very likely we are asking Russia to hold him,” Schumer said. “Whether Russia does that or not, I don’t know, but the fact that they’re allowing him to land indicates we are not in a phase of cooperation.”

Watch the video below, courtesy of Mediaite:

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