• Backlash    March 23 
House intel chair: Edward Snowden is 'under Russian influence'

Washington lawmakers have vilified former NSA contractor turned secret-spiller Edward Snowden ever since he fled the country for safe harbor in Russia. And with Russia's incursion into Ukraine, those criticisms have taken on a new dimension to reflect the escalating tension between Moscow and the U.S. To wit, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, insisted Sunday on Meet the Press that Snowden aided Russia by leaking classified information about America's spy programs, and that he was now tacitly supporting its expansionist aggression.

"He is under the influence of Russian intelligence officials today," Rogers said. "He is actually supporting in an odd way this very activity of brazen brutality and expansionism of Russia."

Rogers made a similar claim before — also without evidence — so host David Gregory pressed him on whether it was "irresponsible" to make such a loaded charge without hard proof. Yet Rogers again declined to offer specifics to back himself up, saying only that he sees "all the intelligence and all the evidence."

"Every counterintelligence official believes that," he said. "You won't find one that doesn't believe today he's under the influence of Russian intelligence services." --Jon Terbush

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