MOSCOW (AP) — Four U.S. whistleblowers who have met with former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden say he is settling into life in Russia and expresses no regrets about leaking highly classified information.
The whistleblowers were the first Americans known to have met with Snowden since he was granted asylum in Russia in August. They spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday, a day after meeting with Snowden at a secret location.
One of them, former NSA executive Thomas Drake, says he believes that Snowden "is making the best of his circumstances and is living as normally as possible."
Also Thursday, Snowden's father, Lon, arrived in Moscow to see his son.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
The father of former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow Thursday morning to meet with his son who has received asylum in Russia and has been living at a secret location.
Lon Snowden told Russian television outside Moscow's airport that he doubts his son, Edward Snowden, will return to the United States, where he is charged with violating the Espionage Act for disclosing NSA's highly classified surveillance of phone and Internet usage around the world.
"I'm not sure that my son will be returning to the U.S. again," Lon Snowden said but added that "that's his decision." He also said he has not had direct contact with his son and would not say when or where he will be meeting him.
Edward Snowden was stuck at a Moscow airport for more than a month after his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23. He was granted asylum in Russia in August. His whereabouts remain secret although his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, insists that Snowden lives in Russia.
Lon Snowden said that it is his understanding that his son has now stopped leaking information.
He thanked Russia and President Vladimir Putin for sheltering his son.
Edward Snowden's asylum status has strained the already tense relationship between the U.S. and Russia, and President Barack Obama called off a meeting with President Putin at a Russia-hosted summit in September.