The Russian president, wondering how Comey’s leaked memo differs from Edward Snowden’s leaks, said that Russia would be happy to extend asylum to Comey.
Snowden’s Russian asylum has been extended to 2020.
The Guardian reports:
Putin jokingly offers Comey asylum during annual phone-in session: Russian president’s yearly question-and-answer event included comments on the former FBI director and a phone call from Arizona about ‘Russophobia’
Vladimir Putin made a sarcastic offer of asylum to the former FBI director James Comey on Thursday, during an attack on Comey’s claims of Russian interference in the US election.
“It sounds very strange when the head of the security services writes down a conversation with the commander-in-chief and then leaks it to the media through his friend … How, in that case, does he differ from [Edward] Snowden?” the Russian president asked, referring to the NSA whistleblower who has been given political asylum in Russia.
“That means he is not the leader of the security services, but a human rights defender. And if he faces pressure, then we are happy to offer him political asylum, too,” said Putin.
Speaking during a marathon phone-in session with the Russian people, Putin said he had not followed Comey’s testimony to the Senate intelligence committee last week but knew some of the details. “The former FBI director said there was Russian interference in the US election process but again gave no evidence,” said Putin.