Edward Snowden's Tweet About Obama's Hillary Clinton Email Comments Was A Deliciously Snarky Dig
Edward Snowden hasn't let his temporary asylum status stop him from injecting his own analysis of hot-button U.S. issues into national discourse. While the controversial whistleblower may be living somewhere under the radar in Russia, he's still very much clued into what's going on in Washington. Most recently, Snowden got snarky with Obama over Hillary Clinton's emails.
Snowden took to Twitter with a short but snarky quip shortly after President Barack Obama said he still did not believe Clinton had jeopardized U.S. national security by using a private email server during her tenure as secretary of State because she wasn't sending highly sensitive information during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. "What I also know, because I handle a lot of classified information, is that there are — there's classified, and then there's classified," Obama said.
"If only I had known," the whistleblower wrote in a retweet of CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller's report on Obama's "classified" comments. Clearly, Snowden already knows that sometimes the best digs are the subtlest.
"There's stuff that is really top-secret, top-secret," Obama told Fox News. "And there's stuff that is being presented to the president or the secretary of state, that you might not want on the transom, or going out over the wire, but is basically stuff that you could get in open-source."
This isn't the first time Snowden has weighed in on the FBI's investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server while serving as secretary of State. Snowden said it was "completely ridiculous" to assume a private server would be more secure than a system operated by the government, in an interview with Al-Jazeera last September.
When the unclassified systems of the United States government, which has a full-time information security staff, regularly gets hacked, the idea that someone keeping a private server in the renovated bathroom of a server farm in Colorado is more secure is completely ridiculous.
Snowden also said "an ordinary worker at the State Department or the CIA" who sent emails containing the type of information Clinton's did over "unclassified email systems" as the former secretary of state did would lose their clearance, be fired, and "would very likely face prosecution."
The former NSA contractor leaked classified information on global surveillance programs run by the NSA in 2013, making him one of the most influential whistleblowers in U.S. history. The U.S. State Department filed three charges against him shortly after his identity was made public by The Guardian — theft of government property and two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 through "unauthorized communication of national defense information" and "willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person."
In essence, as Obama said, Clinton had classified information, but Snowden had classified information.