Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., blasted Russia Thursday for its decision to grant National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum. Schumer said Russia was betraying the United States by harboring Snowden.
"Russia has stabbed us in the back and each day that Mr. Snowden is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife," Schumer said. "Others who have practiced civil disobedience in the past have stood up and faced the charges because they strongly believed in what they were doing. Mr. Snowden is a coward who has chosen to run."
The Senate's third-ranking Democrat has condemned Russia before. On a June 23 appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," Schumer accused Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of helping Snowden avoid capture.
"What's really infuriating is Prime Minister Putin of Russia aiding and abetting Snowden's escape," Schumer said.
Snowden sought refuge in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport after he left Hong Kong, where he released information on the NSA's Internet and telephone surveillance programs. Snowden was allowed into Russia for a year on Thursday.
It is unknown where Snowden will stay, or if he'll be in Russia for the long-term. Four South American countries – Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua – have offered him permanent asylum.
Schumer also said that because of Putin's decision, President Barack Obama should attempt to move the G-20 summit, which is scheduled to be held in Russia in September.