Russia likely interfered in last year’s U.S presidential election, according to former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, but the American public deserves to see evidence of its involvement, he said in an interview published Wednesday.
“Everybody is currently pointing at the Russians,” Mr. Snowden, 33, told Germany’s Der Spiegel. “They probably did hack the systems of Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Party, but we should have proof of that.”
The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence has concluded that Russia interfered in last year’s election race by using state-sponsored hackers and propagandists to target Mrs. Clinton’s campaign in an effort to hurt her odds of winning the White House.
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, whose emails were hacked, claimed the Russian government was behind the leak and the Trump campaign knew about it in advance. He refused to confirm or deny the emails’ authenticity, suggesting some could have been doctored, without so far pinpointing any of the correspondence as fake.
But Mr. Edward Snowden, a computer expert who previously worked for the National Security Agency and CIA, said the U.S. government isn’t being forthcoming with respect to supporting its claims, especially when compared to another recent security breach attributed to state actors.
“In the case of the hacking attack on Sony, the FBI presented evidence that North Korea was behind it. In this case they didn’t, although I am convinced that they do have evidence. The question is why?” Mr. Snowden asked.
Senior U.S. intelligence officials, including those appointed by President Donald Trump, have stated their definitive belief that the Russian government is responsible for the hack of the DNC and subsequent release of information to Wikileaks via a third party.
The NSA also assessed with “moderate confidence” that “Russia’s intelligence services conducted cyber operations against targets associated with the 2016 US presidential election, including targets associated with both major US political parties,” in a January 2017 declassified report on Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Edward Snowden currently lives as a lawful resident of Russia under the protection of President Vladimir Putin. He denies he gave Russia anything in return for his asylum and pointed to his occasional criticism of the government on twitter as evidence of his independence.