State Department ‘Disappointed’ Russia Allowed Snowden Meeting
(WASHINGTON) -- At a State Department press briefing, spokeswoman Jen Psaki expressed the U.S. disappointment that Snowden met with Russian human rights groups Friday, and placed the blame for the meeting on Russian authorities.
"We are disappointed that Russian officials and agencies facilitated this meeting today by allowing these activists and representatives into the Moscow Airport's transit zone to meet with Mr. Snowden despite the government's declarations of Russia's neutrality with respect to Mr. Snowden," said Psaki.
She disputed Snowden's claim that Michael McFaul, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, personally called the Russian representative from Human Rights Watch, but did confirm that an embassy officer called the organizations meeting with Snowden to "explain our position." But Psaki denied that these calls were an attempt to deliver a direct message to Snowden.
"At no point did this official or any official from the U.S. government ask anyone to convey a message to Mr. Snowden," she said.
Psaki reiterated the administration's position that this meeting was a propaganda show for Snowden and that he should not been seen as a hero, but as a criminal.
"He's not a whistle-blower, he's not a human rights activist. He's wanted on a series of serious criminal charges brought in the Eastern District of Virginia in the United States," she said.
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