About a month after he argued that Edward Snowden’s disclosure of top secret surveillance programs did not compromise national security and were actually helpful, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said Wednesday that the 30-year-old former government contractor should return to the United States to “face the music.”
“I think if Mr. Snowden thought what he did was right, he ought to come back and make his case in front of America’s courts. And if he can make a case, the courts will treat him fairly, I have no doubt about that,” Tester told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “But the fact that he’s asking for asylum indicates to me he knew what he was doing was wrong and it was improper. But the best scenario that could happen here is that he comes back to the United States, the country that he is a citizen of, and face the music and live with the circumstances that come out of a court decision.”
In June, the Montana Democrat acknowledged that Snowden “probably shouldn’t have done what he did” but expressed doubt that the revelations from the National Security Agency leaker jeopardized the safety of Americans.
“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,” Tester said at the time.