Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) on Wednesday rejected the notion that Edward Snowden compromised the country’s security when he leaked details of top secret National Security Agency surveillance programs.
Appearing on MSNBC, the Montana Democrat also said he disagreed with Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who argued that journalists who report on intelligence leaks should be punished. Tester said Snowden “probably shouldn’t have done what he did” but doubted that the disclosures undermined national security. In fact, Tester said he found the recent revelations — reported on by both The Guardian and The Washington Post — to be helpful.
“The information that they wrote about was just the fact that NSA was doing broad sweeps of foreign and domestic phone records, metadata. First of all, Snowden probably shouldn’t have done what he did. But the fact of the matter is is I don’t see how that compromises the security of this country whatsoever,” Tester said. “And quite frankly, it helps people like me become aware of a situation that I wasn’t aware of before because I don’t sit on that Intelligence Committee.”