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Whistleblower Coleen Rowley meets Snowden to present award

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Former Minnesota congressional candidate and whistleblower Coleen Rowley was one of four Americans to visit Edward Snowden in Russia this week, the Associated Press reports.

Snowden, the former National Security Agency systems contractor who leaked highly classified information, fled to the country where he was granted temporary asylum in August.

He's charged in the United States with violating the Espionage Act for disclosing the NSA's surveillance of phone and Internet usage around the world.

Rowley, an ex-FBI agent, along with former national security officials Thomas Drake, Raymond McGovern and Jesselyn Radack presented Snowden with the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence for "truth telling."

"We talked about prior examples of great people in history that had themselves been under this kind of pressure, and he’s remarkably centered,” Rowley said of Snowden on Moscow's RT Channel.

They wouldn't tell the Associated Press where they met Snowden, but the New York Times reports the "secret meeting" on Wednesday was held in Moscow.

The group said Snowden expressed no regret about exposing the details of American surveillance programs.

Snowden's father, Lon Snowden, arrived in Russia separately on Thursday.

A lawyer accompanying Lon Snowden, Anatoly Kucherena, told the New York Times that Snowden has been traveling around Russia in disguise, reading Russian literature and learning basic phrases in Russian.

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