07/07/2013 12:27 pm ET

Robert Menendez: Edward Snowden Asylum Would Be 'A Step Against The United States'

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Sunday that any country offering asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden would be acting against the United States.

Menendez, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on NBC's "Meet The Press" that "It's very clear that any of these countries that accept Snowden -- offer him political asylum -- is taking a step against the United States."

Bolivian president Evo Morales said Saturday that his country would extend an asylum offer to Snowden if asked, and Venezuela and Nicaragua have also said they would offer Snowden asylum. Snowden has apparently been staying in the transit area of a Moscow airport since fleeing Hong Kong two weeks ago.

"I'm not surprised by the countries that are offering him asylum," Menendez said Sunday. "They like sticking it to the United States."

If Snowden does make it to any one of those countries and is accepted, Menendez said there could be repercussions for the nation's relationship with the United States.

"I think you have to look -- whether you look at trade preferences that may exist with these countries, other elements of our policy, our aid, our trade -- you have to look at it and decide in fact if any of these countries actually accept Snowden and he gets there, then you're going to have to decide how you react," Menendez said.



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