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Edward Snowden is 'not a whistleblower,' U.S. government report says

The U.S. House intelligence committee issued a scathing report on Thursday accusing National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of lying about his background, feuding with co-workers and leaking secrets that "caused tremendous damage" to U.S. security.

House intelligence committee calls NSA leaker a 'disgruntled employee' who endangered national security

Edward Snowden speaks via video link during a news conference in New York City on Sept. 14, 2016. A U.S. House intelligence committee report released on Thursday slams the NSA leaker, calling him a 'disgruntled employee' put endangered national security. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

The U.S. House intelligence panel issued a scathing report on Thursday accusing National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of lying about his background, feuding with co-workers and leaking secrets that "caused tremendous damage" to U.S. security.

The House of Representatives intelligence committee report declared that Snowden was "not a whistleblower" as he has claimed in interviews and that most of the material he stole from NSA outposts was about intelligence and defence programs of great interest to U.S. foreign adversaries.

The committee only released a four-page summary of what it said was a 36-page investigative report by committee staff that remains highly classified. But the summary contained strong words about Snowden's actions and background.

The report calls Snowden, who is living in Russia, a "disgruntled employee who had frequent conflicts with his managers."

The committee said that while the "full scope" of damage caused by Snowden's disclosures remains unknown, a review of materials he allegedly compromised "makes clear that he handed over secrets that protect American troops overseas and secrets that provide vital defences against terrorists and nation-states."

The House committee's release of the report coincides with the release of Snowden, a Hollywood movie directed by Oliver Stone, which portrays the former intelligence contractor as a whistleblower and hero.

On Wednesday, prominent human rights advocates publicly urged U.S. President Barack Obama to issue a pardon for Snowden before he leaves office — a suggestion Snowden himself made to the Guardian newspaper earlier in the week.

U.S. officials have said that Obama is not considering a pardon for Snowden, who is facing U.S. criminal charges for providing classified information to unauthorized persons, and that there is no discussion of such a pardon inside the Justice Department.

Snowden's actions led to revelations about the NSA's bulk collection of millions of Americans' phone records.

With files from Associated Press

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