During a news briefing in Senegal, President Obama said NSA leaker Edward Snowden was in possession of more classified documents and the government did not know “what other documents he may try to dribble out there.”
That said, Obama added, he will not “be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.”
Obama said the United States is working through “regular legal channels” to try to bring Snowden back to the United States to face a trial and that he wouldn’t be placing calls to neither the president of China nor the president of Russia, because he “shouldn’t have to.”
This case, said Obama, “is not exceptional from a legal perspective.”
At almost the exact time that President Obama was delivering his remarks, the government of Ecuador, which is considering an asylum request from Snowden, arranged for a press conference.
The National Communications Secretary Fernando Alvarado said they will not be bullied by the United States into making a decision on the Snowden case.
Alvarado hinted that the United States was using money from the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) as leverage in the Snowden case.
“Ecuador does not accept pressure nor threats from anyone. It does not negotiate with its principles nor does it cave in to economic pressure despite their importance,” Alvarado said.
Alvarado added that no decision had been made on Snowden’s case.
To further poke the United States, Ecuador’s interior ministry tweeted that it was offering the United States $23 million in annual aid for human rights training. That is the same amount offered by the United States to Ecuador as part of the ATPDEA.