TODAY   |  July 03, 2013

False Snowden rumor causes plane drama

As a rumor circulated that Edward Snowden had boarded Bolivia’s presidential plane in Moscow, the aircraft was diverted to Austria when Portugal, France, Italy, and Spain all closed their airspaces. NBC’s Jim Maceda reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the search for edward snowden is taking a strange new twist.

>> getting more and more like a hollywood movie . high drama in the skies over europe last night after false reports that nsa leaker edward snowden was hitching a ride on bolivia's presidential plane. jim is in moscow with the latest. jim , good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, natalie. just a rumor that fugitive edward snowden was on that presidential plane trig erd a major air incident overnight that rippled across continents. the vienna airport and not the destination the bolivian president expected. his plane was diverted to austria when france, portugal, italy and spain closed their air space fearing snowden was on board but he was not. living bolivians stuns and angry.

>> we don't know who invented this lie. someone wants to hurt our country he said. morales is one of only a handful of world leaders to express support for snowden 's efforts to gain political asylum. he launched appeals in 20 countries. nine european countries turned him down because he's not in their soil or in one of their embassies. five countries said no and the remainders are processing the request. the latest incident could be a taste of what's in store. the bolivians are blaming the u.s. for the whole incident. no direct contact from washington but confirmation that the plane is clear and back in the air.

>> all right, jim in moscow this morning. thank you.