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‘I was trained as a spy’: Edward Snowden says he’s no low-level ‘hacker’

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Former Defense Department contractor Edward Snowden accused the U.S. government of trying to minimize his abilities in an interview with NBC News scheduled to air Wednesday night.

“It’s no secret that the U.S. tends to get more and better intelligence out of computers nowadays than people,” Snowden told anchor Brian Williams. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas, pretending to work in a job that I’m not, and even being assigned a name that was not mine.”

The interview was conducted last week in Moscow, where Snowden has lived for almost a year after being granted asylum in Russia. Under the Espionage Act of 1917, Snowden was charged with revealing government information to someone without a security clearance, stealing government property, and leaking information regarding “communications intelligence.”

Snowden also rejected descriptions of him by President Barack Obama’s administration as a “hacker” and a “low-level systems analyst” following his leaking thousands of pages of classified material detailing the National Security Agency’s (NSA) data-gathering operations.

Instead, Snowden told Williams, the government was trying to use one specific job position to “distract from the totality of [his] experience,” which he said included undercover work overseas for the NSA and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

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“I don’t work with people. I don’t recruit agents,” Snowden said. “What I do is I put systems to work for the United States. And I’ve done that at all levels, from the bottom on the ground all the way to the top. Now, the government might deny these things, they might frame it in certain ways and say, ‘Oh, he’s a low-level analyst.'”

Snowden said he also lectured at a counter-intelligence “academy” while working for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). NBC reported that the DIA confirmed that Snowden spoke at three of the agency’s conferences while working as a contractor, and that he also worked at a CIA station overseas in “IT and communications.”

While working for the DIA, Snowden explained to Williams, he “developed sources and methods for keeping our information and people secure in the most hostile and dangerous environments around the world.”

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Watch a portion of the interview, as aired by NBC on Tuesday, below.


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Black GOP strategist called on the carpet by Joy Reid for trying to sidestep Trump’s racist rally as ’empowering’ voters

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An "AM Joy" panel on MSNBC descended into talking over each other as host Joy Reid confronted a black GOP consultant over Donald Trump's racist rally in North Carolina.

Presenting the conservative point of view, Republican strategist Lenny McAllister was asked point-blank by the host, "Lenny, hold on a second, because you as a man of color yourself -- do you feel comfortable in a party that does rallies like that?"

McAllister pushed back saying he had walked away from just those type of events, before admitting, "To the greater point. They're using racism as an avenue through which people feel empowered, they lend you the loyalty, they give you the vote. What Republicans need to do is continue to empower people, but not by using racism and not by using phobia."

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Dershowitz and Trump should both be worried what Jeffrey Epstein will reveal when he looks to cut a deal: ex-prosecutor

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On Saturday, Georgetown Law professor and former federal prosecutor Paul Butler discussed the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case with MSNBC's Joy Reid, and the conversation turned to Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz's increasingly furious battle with David Boies, a prominent lawyer representing some of Epstein's alleged victims. Dershowitz has been accused by one of the women of also abusing her at one of Epstein's parties, a claim he categorically denies.

"I've had sex with one woman since the day I met Jeffrey Epstein," said Dershowitz in a Fox News clip Reid played for her viewers. "I challenge David Boies to say under oath that he's only had sex with one woman during that same period of time, he couldn't do it. So he has an enormous amount of chutzpah to attack me and to challenge my perfect, perfect sex life during the relevant period of time."

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Ex-Reagan adviser nails why white evangelicals flock to Trump in devastating takedown of fake Christians

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Why do evangelicals — or at least, white ones — love President Donald Trump so much? Why do they stick by a president who has barely even read the Bible, has defiled marriage, and embodies the antithesis of so much of what their churches preach? Why, according to polls, did they essentially decide overnight that it's no longer important for a president to have strong personal morals to be an effective leader?

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