TODAY   |  August 02, 2013

Snowden spends first night free in Moscow

The NSA leaker was stranded for six weeks in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, but with a one-year refugee passport, he spent his first night of freedom in Russia at the home of an American expat family. NBC’s Jim Maceda reports.

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>> we have another big story . new fallout over russia 's decision to grand nsa leaker edward snowden temporary asylum. it's a move that's putting a greater strain on u.s.-russian relations this morning. jim maceda has the story for us in moscow this morning. good morning.

>> reporter: edward snowden spent his first.

>> i'm of freedom at the home of an ex-pat american family . his father said he's feeling much better knowing his son is in safe hands. stranded for almost six weeks at this moscow airport and under siege by international immediate area in the end snowden slipped out by taxi. his lawyer who handed snowden his new refugee passport giving him asylum in russia for one year said his client wants to rest, learn russia and get a job, probably as a human rights activist . his father in an exclusive interview with nbc news said he still plans to see his son in russia as soon as he can get a visa and personally express his gratitude.

>> i'm thankful for the courage and strength of the russian people and the fact that they have reached out and they have kept my son safe.

>> reporter: the american fugitive's asylum has cast a pall over u.s.-russian relations. the white house sees snowden 's release as a slap in the face .

>> we are extremely disappointed that the russian government would take this step despite our very clear and lawful requests in public and in private to have mr. snowden expelled to the united states to face the charges against him.

>> reporter: the father said snowden has been convicted by congress and the media.

>> he made a sacrifice. you know, it wasn't a gamble. he made a known sacrifice. his life will never be the same. the most positive outcome for him whatever it could be at this point is going to involve significant sacrifice.

>> reporter: meanwhile the obama administration is hinting that it may cancel a key sum met between putin and obama here in early september before the g-20 meets. snowden 's father continues to makes waves across continents.

>> jim maceda in moscow .