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Russia mulls returning Snowden to US, report says

The Russians are considering sending NSA document leaker Edward Snowden back home as a gift to President Trump, a US official reportedly said.

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Edward Snowden

Russia is considering returning Edward Snowden to the US, according to a report.

Jason Seiler/CNET

What do you get for the US president who has everything? According to one report, the perfect present might be a wanted man who's living in Russia to avoid being tried on charges of espionage and theft.

Russia is considering sending Edward Snowden back to the US as a gift for President Donald Trump, NBC reported Friday. The report cites an unnamed senior US official who's reviewed US intelligence about the matter.

In 2013, Snowden, a former NSA contractor, gave journalists a cache of classified documents about surveillance programs run by the US and its allies. Snowden has lived in Russia since then and says he would face a "show trial" if he returned to the US. In September, Snowden and his legal team launched a campaign to get him pardoned.

For his part, Trump has called Snowden a spy and a traitor. As early as 2013, Trump claimed that if he were president, he would have already gotten Snowden back in the US.

Snowden's lawyer, the Russian Embassy in the US and the White House didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. On Friday, Snowden wrote on Twitter that the NBC report proved he never gave US secrets to Russia, as Trump and others have claimed.

"No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they're next," Snowden wrote.

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