(Jonathon M. Seidl) “He’s a traitor.”
That’s how Speaker of the House John Boehner describes NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the man who blew the cover on the NSA’s phone-spying and Internet-tapping practices.
Boehner made his thoughts clear in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. But he didn’t stop at “traitor.” Boehner also went on to quote — and side with — the president who has said leaks put national security in jeopardy.
“The president outlined last week that these are important national security programs to help keep Americans safe and give us tools to fight the terrorist threat that we face,” he said. “The disclosure of this information puts Americans at risk. It shows our adversaries what our capabilities are. And it’s a giant violation of the law.”
“I’ve been briefed on all of these programs,” he added. “There is no American whose going to be snooped on in any way unless they’re in contact with some terrorist around the world.”
Those comments put Boehner at odds with many conservatives, Republicans, and even Democrats who have expressed concern over the program.
Still, Boehner did not side with Obama on all the recent scandals. He renewed his criticism of the administration regarding the IRS’s targeting of conservatives, saying that the claim that the president didn’t know about it “doesn’t pass the straight-face test.”