Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOn The Money: Trump, Congress reach two-year budget, debt limit deal | What we know | Deal gets pushback from conservatives | Equifax to pay up to 0M in data breach settlement | Warren warns another 'crash' is coming Overnight Defense: Iran's spy claim adds to tensions with US | Trump, lawmakers get two-year budget deal | Trump claims he could win Afghan war in a week Trump, Democrats clinch two-year budget deal MORE (N.Y.), the third-ranking Senate Democratic leader, said Sunday that Russia will face “serious consequences” if it harbors Edward Snowden, who has been charged with espionage.

“What’s infuriating here is Prime Minister [Vladimir] Putin of Russia abetting Snowden’s escape,” Schumer said in a CNN “State of the Union” interview. “I think it will have serious consequences for the United States-Russia relationship.”

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Snowden, a former employee of Booz Allen Hamilton who leaked classified materials related to the National Security Agency’s electronic surveillance operations, has been charged with several counts of espionage.

He initially fled to Hong Kong but took a flight to Moscow Sunday morning after U.S. officials requested his extradition by Hong Kong authorities.

Schumer said Putin likely approved Snowden’s flight to Russia and certainly knew of it.


“Something at this level in a state- controlled country, the minute Aeroflot got the notification he would be coming, I believe that Putin, it's almost certain he knew, and it's likely he approved it,” he said.

Schumer said if Putin protects Snowden it could affect bilateral nuclear disarmament talks and other cooperation.