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TODAY   |  June 28, 2013

Snowden’s dad: ‘I don’t feel he’s committed treason’

In an NBC News exclusive, Lonnie Snowden, father of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, said he is “concerned about those who surround” his son, alleging that the focus of WikiLeaks is not “necessarily the Constitution” but rather “to release as much information as possible.” NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports.

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>> on another story you're covering, the high profile leak case you have an exclusive interview with edward snowden's father.

>> right. today his father is sending a letter to attorney general eric holder saying he is reasonably confident that his son will return home if the justice department will promise not to detain him prior to trial, not to subject him to a gag order and let him choose where his trial will take place. he hasn't spoken to his son since april but said he had a message for him and is concerned his son is being manipulated by others, especially wikileaks.

>> i love him. i would love to communicate with him. i don't want to put him in pearl. but i'm concerned about those around him. if you look at wikileaks, their goal is not the constitution of the united states . it's to release as much as possible. that's a concern for me. i don't feel he has committed treason. he has, in fact, broken u.s. law in a sense that he has released classified information and if folks want to classify him as a traitor, in fact, he has betrayed his government but i don't believe he has betrayed the people of the united states .

>> so far there's been no response from the justice department on the letter, matt.