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GOP intel chair: Russian government may be behind Snowden leaks [VIDEO]

Republican chair of the House intelligence committee Rep. Mike Rogers claimed on Sunday that a series of “clues” indicate that “there’s a reason [NSA leaker Edward Snowden] ended up in the hands, the loving arms of an FSB agent in Moscow.”

The Michigan congressman spoke with NBC’s David Gregory on Sunday about Snowden, who stole and then released reams of sensitive intelligence documents from the National Security Agency last summer. While many of the files revealed invasive data collection programs aimed at American citizens, other documents appear to illustrate secret spy techniques used to keep tabs on enemies and rivals of the United States.

Rogers noted that the type of files stolen and disseminated point to an alliance between Snowden and at least one foreign intelligence service. “First of all, if it was a privacy concern he had, he didn’t look for information on the privacy side for Americans,” the lawmaker claimed. “He was stealing formation that had to do with how we operate overseas to collect information to keep Americans safe. That begs a question.” He also found Snowden’s apparent ease in hacking protected files and escaping capture suspicious, claiming he had to have had professional help.

So which country did Rogers finger as Snowden’s co-conspirator? Gregory pressed the congressman, who seemed reluctant to reveal too much just yet:

GREGORY: How high-level do you think? Who, at what level, would help him?

ROGERS: Well, let me just say this. I believe there’s a reason he ended up in the hands, the loving arms of an FSB agent in Moscow. I don’t think that’s a coincidence, number one. Number two, and let me just talk about –

GREGORY: You believe the Russians helped Ed Snowden?

ROGERS: I — I believe there’s questions to be answered there. I don’t believe it was a “gee whiz” lucky event that he ended up in Moscow under the handling of the FSB.

GREGORY: That’s a significant development.

ROGERS: Well, like I said, we have questions we have to answer. But as somebody who used to do investigations, some of the things we’re finding we would call clues that certainly would indicate to me that he had some help.

Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, is rumored to be “supervising” Snowden during his extended stay in Moscow. Snowden himself denies he ever shared information with the Russian government.

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