POLITICS
01/21/2014 08:52 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Edward Snowden Denies 'Absurd' Russian Spy Theory

In an interview with the New Yorker's Jane Mayer published Tuesday, former government contractor Edward Snowden denied accusations that he was collaborating with Russia to leak documents on the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, calling the claim "absurd."

On Sunday, House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said on NBC's "Meet the Press" he is investigating whether Snowden was aided by Russia when he obtained and leaked the documents.

"I believe there's a reason he ended up in the hands -- the loving arms -- of an FSB agent in Moscow. I don't think that's a coincidence," Rogers said, describing his investigation as "ongoing."

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), a top member on the House's Homeland Security Committee, also raised questions about Snowden's foreign entanglements.

"I personally believe that he was cultivated by a foreign power to do what he did," McCaul said on ABC's "This Week." "I can't give a definitive statement on that. I -- but I've been given all the evidence, I know Mike Rogers has access to, you know, that I've seen that I don't think he was acting alone."

In the New Yorker interview, Snowden firmly denied the claims.

"[I] clearly and unambiguously acted alone, with no assistance from anyone, much less a government." Snowden said. “It won’t stick... Because it’s clearly false, and the American people are smarter than politicians think they are.”

Snowden, who fled the United States to Hong Kong and then Russia, pointed to the forty days he spent in limbo at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport as evidence he had worked alone.

"Spies get treated better than that," he said.

Snowden further condemned the media for reporting on the statements.

"The media has a major role to play in American society, and they’re really abdicating their responsibility to hold power to account," he said.

In July, Snowden denied claims he was working as a spy for the Chinese.

"If I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn't I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now," Snowden said during an online chat hosted by the Guardian, describing the speculation as "a predictable smear.. intended to distract from the issue of U.S. government misconduct."

Click here to read the full New Yorker piece on Snowden.

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