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Aug 1, 2013 5:52 PM by NBC News

Temporary asylum granted to NSA leaker

(NBC News) The White House says it is "evaluating the utility" of an anticipated meeting between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G-20 meeting in Moscow in September after Russia granted temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

"Mr. Snowden is not a whistleblower; he's accused of leaking classified information. He has been charged with three felony counts, and he should be returned to the United States as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process and protections," Jay Carney, White House spokesman, said during a briefing on Thursday afternoon.

"This move by the Russian government undermines a longstanding record of law enforcement cooperation, cooperation that has recently been on the upswing since the Boston Marathon bombings," Carney added.

Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia and has left the Moscow airport where he had been stranded for more than a month, his lawyer said Thursday.

An airport representative told Reuters that the former intelligence contractor had already crossed through the immigration line and left the airport.

The move by Russia unleashed a wave of criticism on both sides of the political spectrum.

Read More: http://nbcnews.to/16mKwJN

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