By Rebecca Shabad - 05/28/14 08:21 AM EDT
Secretary of State John Kerry said it's dumb for Edward Snowden to blame his asylum in Russia on the State Department.
Snowden in an interview with NBC said that when people ask why he's in Russia, "I say, 'please, ask the State Department.' "
If Snowden wants to return to the U.S., Kerry said, he would be put on a flight today and officials would be "delighted."
“That’s what a patriot would do. A patriot would not run away and look for refuge in Russia or Cuba,” he said.
Kerry said the entire situation is “pretty sad” and the fact that he admitted he wanted to go to Cuba indicates he’s “confused.”
“This is a man who has done great damage to his country,” Kerry said, and “violated his oath.”
Snowden was granted temporary asylum by the Russian government last August. He first traveled to Hong Kong after fleeing the U.S. nearly a year ago.
In an NBC News interview that will air Wednesday at 10 p.m., Snowden said he never intended to wind up in Russia, and instead had a flight booked to Cuba after he began leaking National Security Agency (NSA) documents last year.
“I was stopped because the U.S. decided to revoke my passport and track me in the Moscow airport. When people ask why are you in Russia, I say ‘please, ask the State Department.’ ”