Former Bush adviser Karl Rove weighed in Wednesday on reports of the National Security Agency's large-scale surveillance of phone and internet data, saying that Edward Snowden's decision to leak information about the programs had made Americans "less safe."
"America is now a less safe place. The world is a less safe place because of what Mr. Snowden unilaterally did," Rove said on Fox News, suggesting that al Qaeda had already benefitted from his actions. "He deserves to be prosecuted. I hope they find him in the hole that he’s hiding in in Hong Kong and bring him home and try him."
Snowden is reportedly still seeking refuge in Hong Kong after providing key information to the Guardian and Washington Post earlier this month. He fell off the grid this week, though an editor for a Chinese paper said Snowden was still in the city and wished to remain there while President Barack Obama's administration decides how to respond to the leaks.
Lawmakers have proven largely unsympathetic to Snowden, suggesting that he should be punished for what they've described as a heinous breach of national security. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) dubbed him a "traitor," while Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has called for his immediate extradition. King also suggested that Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald should face prosecution for his part in releasing the reports. Other Democrats have accused Snowden of committing an act of treason, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday she believed he should be prosecuted.