Amash: Snowden is a whistleblower

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said on Sunday that he believes National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is a whistleblower, not a traitor.

"He may be doing things overseas that we would find problematic, that we would find dangerous," Amash said on Fox News Sunday. "But as far as Congress is concerned, sure he is a whistleblower. He told us what we need to know." 

Amash explained that although members of the intelligence committees were informed of the details of the NSA's surveillance, most lawmakers were in the dark about the programs.  

"Without his doing what he did, members of Congress would not really have known about it," the Republican lawmaker said.

Amash sponsored an amendment to the House's defense spending bill last month that would have curbed the NSA's massive phone record collection program. The amendment fell just seven votes short of passage.

Russia agreed to grant Snowden temporary asylum last week, bucking the U.S. government, which has been calling for his return to face criminal charges.