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Obama says Edward Snowden should return to US to face charges

Published 12/09/2016

White House press secretary Josh Earnest listens to a question during his daily briefing at the White House. (AP)
White House press secretary Josh Earnest listens to a question during his daily briefing at the White House. (AP)

The White House says President Barack Obama continues to believe that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden should return to the United States to face charges for leaking classified information.

Snowden's supporters are pushing for Mr Obama to pardon him, and a new movie is coming out on Friday about the case.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest has reiterated Mr Obama's position that Snowden's leaks "damaged the United States," harmed national security and put Americans at risk.

Mr Earnest says Snowden will be "treated fairly and consistent with the law" if he returns to the US.

As an NSA contractor, Snowden leaked classified details in 2013 of the US government's warrantless surveillance programme before fleeing to Russia. He faces US charges that could land him in prison for up to 30 years.

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