Outgoing President Barack Obama (D) was jointly interviewed by Germany’s public broadcasting network, ARD, and by Spiegel Online. Obama had many things to say in this interview, but he had this in particular to say in response to ARD/Spiegel’s question about whether he would pardon Edward Snowden before he left office. After declining to talk about the pardon itself on the grounds that Snowden hadn’t yet appeared in court, Obama said this:
I think that Mr Snowden raised some legitimate concerns. How he did it was something that did not follow the procedures and practices of our intelligence community. If everybody took the approach that I make my own decisions about these issues, then it would be very hard to have an organized government or any kind of national security system.