Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) slammed Edward Snowden -- the man who leaked classified documents about the U.S. government's surveillance programs -- as a "traitor."
“I cannot underscore enough how highly dangerous this was to America’s national security,” Bachmann said Tuesday in an interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto. “These were important tools that we had at our ready to be able to use to thwart terror attacks. We need to focus on the fact that we cannot allow people to be in positions of sensitive information and to be able to betray the American trust the way that Snowden did. He's clearly a traitor.”
Bachmann -- who said Snowden "should be extradited out of China," where he's currently staying -- also tried to link President Barack Obama to Snowden, saying the timing of the leak was "an unbelievable coincidence."
“It's an unbelievable coincidence that all of this information was revealed just when the President was going to take to task China for their cybersecurity espionage and attack within our government's computer systems," Bachmann said. "So I think that there may have been a link there. But I think clearly he needs to be extradited. He committed treason against his country, he violated our laws and he needs to have justice.”
Bachmann's not the only one to label Snowden a "traitor." House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hurled the same criticism at Snowden on June 11, and former Vice President Dick Cheney made similar remarks days later.
"I think he's a traitor,” Cheney told Fox News. "I think he has committed crimes in effect by violating agreements given the position he had. I think it's one of the worst occasions in my memory of somebody with access to classified information doing enormous damage to the national security interests of the United States."
Snowden responded to Cheney's criticism in a live web chat hosted by The Guardian on June 17, calling the former VP's remarks "the highest honor."