Edward Snowden isn't happy with a series of reports detailing his "situation" in Russia, according to a statement the NSA whistleblower released to the Huffington Post on Thursday evening. "News organizations seeking information regarding my current situation have...been misled by individuals associated with my father into printing false claims about my situation," Snowden wrote.
Snowden specifically says that his dad Lon Snowden, lawyer Bruce Fein, and Fein's wife and spokeswoman Mattie Fein don't speak for him. Lon Snowden announced plans to travel to see his son last weekend on ABC's This Week, where he said the following about a possible return to the U.S. for his son: "As a father I want my son to come home if I believe that the justice system … is going to be applied correctly."
As the Huffington Post notes, Mattie Fein was the source for a story at the Wall Street Journal indicating that journalist Glenn Greenwald was shopping around an interview for a hefty sum. Meanwhile, Bruce Fein was the subject of a Washington Post profile this week that portrayed the D.C. based lawyer as seeking, and eager for, the spotlight — "[he] is having the time of his life," the paper writes — generated by the Snowden story. Of Snowden himself, Fein said:
“If government by the consent of the governed means you get to know what your government is doing in terms of policy — though not necessarily how you’re deploying your troops on the ground because that could aid the enemy” — then “in my view, even if [PRISM] was a spectacular success, we the people get to decide whether we think success is worth the invasion [of privacy] or the crushing of the right to be left alone. Maybe we will, and maybe we won’t. But we the people are sovereign.”
Here's Snowden's full statement:
It has come to my attention that news organizations seeking information regarding my current situation have, due to the difficulty in contacting me directly, been misled by individuals associated with my father into printing false claims about my situation.
I would like to correct the record: I've been fortunate to have legal advice from an international team of some of the finest lawyers in the world, and to work with journalists whose integrity and courage are beyond question. There is no conflict amongst myself and any of the individuals or organizations with whom I have been involved.
Neither my father, his lawyer Bruce Fein, nor his wife Mattie Fein represent me in any way. None of them have been or are involved in my current situation, and this will not change in the future. I ask journalists to understand that they do not possess any special knowledge regarding my situation or future plans, and not to exploit the tragic vacuum of my father's emotional compromise for the sake of tabloid news.