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Feinstein: ‘We don’t know’ whether Russia helped Snowden

Edward Snowden. (The Guardian/AFP/Getty Images). Edward Snowden. (The Guardian/AFP/Getty Images).

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Sunday downplayed suggestions that Russia may have prompted Edward Snowden to steal spy information but said a connection is possible.

Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" whether the former National Security Agency contractor may have had help from the Russians, Feinstein said: "He may well have. We don't know at this stage."

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) described Snowden on "Meet the Press" as "a thief who we believe had some help."

"I believe there was a reason he ended up in the loving arms of an FSB agent in Moscow," Rogers said.  "I believe there are questions to be answered there. I don't think it was a gee-whiz luck event that he ended up in Moscow under the handling of the FSB."

The congressman also said most of the information Snowden collected had nothing to do with the privacy issues he raised, adding that the NSA leaker sought information that puts the U.S. military at risk.

"Some of the things we're finding we would call clues that certainly would indicate to me that he had some help and he stole things that had nothing to do with privacy," Rogers said.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
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Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
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The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
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We'll have half a million voters in South Carolina. I can shake a lot of hands, but I can't shake that many.
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Sanders’s claim that Clinton objected to meeting with ‘our enemies’
Sanders said that Clinton was critical of Obama in 2008 for suggesting meeting with Iran. In fact, Clinton and Obama differed over whether to set preconditions, not about meeting with enemies. Once in office, Obama followed the course suggested by Clinton, abandoning an earlier position as unrealistic.
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The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

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