Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is not happy with National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden’s current status as a guest at the Moscow airport, and he is placing a large amount of the blame for the situation on Russian President Vladmir Putin.
McCain spoke to John Roberts on ‘Fox News Sunday‘ this week, discussing the President’s position on Snowden. Roberts played a clip showing Obama saying he shouldn’t have to call Putin to get Snowden extradited to the U.S.
“I do know this is a direct slap in the face to the United States of America,” McCain said. “We should now hopefully realize what Vladimir Putin is — he’s an old colonel KGB apparatchik and he dreams of the restoration of the Russian Empire.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) agreed with McCain’s critique of the Russian President, saying that Putin “goes out of his way to stick his finger in the eye of America.”
“I agree with John McCain,” Schumer said. “He [Putin] ought to know he’s gonna pay a price here … He’s got lots of vulnerabilities”
Both Senators also issued stern warnings to Ecuador about potential repercussions from the United States if the South American country chooses to grant asylum to Snowden, including severe economic sanctions.
“We ought to be very clear with Ecuador that if they take Snowden, they’re gonna pay a price,” said Schumer. “We should cut off the foreign aid we have with them. It’s about $10 million — that’s not so little to a small country.”
“We’ve got to deal with these countries in a realistic fashion, and that is that they are not friends of ours,” McCain also added. “They will do what’s necessary to damage America’s national interest.”
Snowden has been hiding out in Moscow’s international airport since leaving Hong Kong last Sunday. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also said this week that she was fine with Snowden staying there.
“I think it’s pretty good that he’s stuck in the Moscow airport,” she said during a pre-taped interview aired Sunday on ‘Meet the Press.‘ “That’s okay with me. He can stay there, that’s fine.”