By Laura Barron-Lopez - 12/22/13 11:15 AM EST
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said on Sunday that Edward Snowden committed treason when leaking classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents.
"That is what we call a traitor in this country," Rogers said.
"He has traded something of value for his own personal gain that jeopardizes the national security of the United States."
"We call that treason. He should come back. He didn't use any of the whistleblower protection avenues laid out before him. None. Zero," Rogers added.
Rogers also defended the NSA's surveillance program, which Snowden helped expose earlier this year.
The program came under heavy fire last week as a panel hand-picked by President Obama released a report calling for substantial overhauls to the program.
The report recommended scrapping the phone record collection program and move the responsibility to phone companies.
Rogers said he is hesitant to shift the job of tracking phone records of U.S. citizens from the NSA over to phone companies.
"I think it opens up to more privacy violations when the companies hold it," Rogers said.
"This is not their job, their job is to provide service, that these are business records, not private records of content and so they're not listening to phone calls," he added.