Former President Donald Trump sat down for an interview with Candace Owens of The Daily Wire to explain, among other things, why he did not pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange or former NSA analyst Edward Snowden.
Assange was charged in 20190″ with allegedly violating the Espionage Act by conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to illegally obtain and disclose classified information,” the New York Post .
Snowden, who leaked top-secret documents to the media showing how the NSA was allegedly spying on Americans, was charged with a political crime — crime against the state instead of against a person—under the Espionage Act, reported Shortform.
Owens asked the former president about pardons for Assange or Snowden, amongst a host of other questions, during a wide-ranging conversation published at The Daily Wire for its members-only section on Tuesday.
“You could have had a chance to pardon these individuals,” Owens noted. “Why decide not to in that moment?”
“You have two sides of it,” Trump said.
“In one case, you have sort of a spy deal going on, and in another case, you have somebody that’s exposing real corruption. I feel a little bit — I won’t say which one — but I feel a little bit more strongly about one than the other,” Trump added.
“I could have done it, but — I will say, you have people on both sides of that issue — good people on both sides. And you have bad people on one side,” he continued.
“But I decided to let that one ride, let the courts work it out. And I guess the courts are actually doing that.”
“There was some spying things, and there was some bad things released that really set us back and really hurt us with what they did,” Trump added, suggesting that he was speaking of Assange.
“But at the same time, in many cases, what they did — these were the same people that came after me so viciously and dishonestly.”
“I could have gone — I was very close to going the other way,” Trump added.