Republican Gov. and 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie of New Jersey appeared on Fox News Channel’s “The Five” on July 22 and answered a number of questions pertaining to America’s renewed relationship with Cuba, the framework for the Iran peace deal being finalized after numerous delays and the continued presence of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.
Christie, widely known for his no-nonsense approach to answering questions, did not hold back in his appearance on the program. Co-host Greg Gutfeld brought up Edward Snowden -- the former National Security Administration (NSA) employee who leaked thousands of classified documents to media outlets in the summer of 2013 and is now living in Russia where he cannot be prosecuted by U.S. authorities -- and jokingly asked Christie whether or not he would send U.S. forces to Russia to retrieve Snowden and charge him for the crimes he committed.
“No. I wouldn’t send the SEALs in to pick up that piece of garbage. I wouldn’t put any SEALs life at risk to pick up a traitor and a piece of garbage which is what Snowden is,” Christie said.
Christie has recently spoken about Snowden at multiple campaign stops around the nation since launching his bid for the presidency on June 30. He was questioned about retrieving Snowden at a stop in Concord, New Hampshire, last month.
“Should he be allowed to come home? He should be forced to come home,” Christie told a reporter with NJ.com. “And face prosecution for the treasonous criminal acts that he committed.”
The information released by Snowden contains thousands of pages of classified information, specifically with how the federal government collects data from Americans via social media accounts, online web browsing, and phone calls. Disturbingly, a new report from the New York Times earlier this week suggests that members of ISIS have “studied revelations from Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, about how the United States gathers information on militants.”
Christie also attacked fellow Republican presidential contender and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for emboldening those like Snowden to go against the American government and people.
Snowden is “empowered by people like Rand Paul” who praise whistleblowers for revealing confidential information to the public.
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