Barack Obama told reporters in Senegal today that he has not contacted President Xi personally or President Putin personally…
“Because, I shouldn’t have to.”
Meanwhile, Edward Snowden continues to languish at the Moscow airport with four computers full of NSA intelligence secrets.
And, you wonder why his foreign policy is a disaster?
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Transcript via the White House website:
With respect to Mr. Snowden, we have issued through our Justice Department very clear requests to both initially Hong Kong and then Russia that we seek the extradition of Mr. Snowden. And we are going through the regular legal channels that are involved when we try to extradite somebody. I have not called President Xi personally or President Putin personally. And the reason is because, number one, I shouldn’t have to. This is something that routinely is dealt with between law enforcement officials in various countries. And this is not exceptional from a legal perspective.
Number two, we’ve got a whole lot of business that we do with China and Russia. And I’m not going to have one case of a suspect who we’re trying to extradite suddenly being elevated to the point where I’ve got to start doing wheeling and dealing and trading on a whole host of other issues simply to get a guy extradited, so that he can face the Justice system here in the United States.
I get why it’s a fascinating story from a press perspective. And I’m sure there will be a made-for-TV movie somewhere down the line. But in terms of U.S. interests, the damage was done with respect to the initial leaks. And what I’m really focused on is making sure, number one, that we are doing everything we can to prevent the kind of thing that happened at the NSA from happening again, because we don’t know right now what Mr. Snowden’s motives were except for those things that he said publicly…
…But one last thing, because you asked a final question — no, I’m not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.