Secretary of State John Kerry seemed almost bemused Wednesday morning during an interview on the “Today” show when asked about Edward Snowden’s assertion that his current living situation is the fault of the United States.
In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams that aired on Tuesday night, Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked information about the government’s surveillance program, said the United States had “trapped” him in Moscow.
“So when people ask why are you in Russia, I say, ‘Please ask the State Department,’” Snowden told Williams.
Kerry chuckled when “Today” host Savannah Guthrie told the secretary that Snowden blamed the U.S. government for his new life in Russia. She asked Kerry if Snowden had a point.
Although we’re only halfway through the week, Kerry’s blunt response earned him the Loop Quote of the Week crown.
“For a supposedly smart guy, that’s a pretty dumb answer, frankly,” Kerry said. “If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States today, we’ll have him on a flight today. We’d be delighted for him to come back.”
Kerry went on to say that a real patriot would stand up, make his case and trust the U.S. justice system.
On a different morning show, Kerry told Snowden to “man up.” Our colleague Philip Bump dissects the use of that phrase, concluding it’s often used by someone completely powerless in a situation. In this case, Kerry has no way of bringing Snowden to justice.