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MOSCOW, RUSSIA — American whistleblower Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the United States after revealing classified and previously unknown details about the U.S. government's secret surveillance programs, said Thursday that the media has been "misled" about his current situation.
In an e-mailed statement to the Huffington Post news website, Snowden said news organizations had been "misled" by certain individuals into printing false details about his situation. He distanced himself from his father, Lon Snowden, who he said had no special knowledge about his future plans.
"It has come to my attention that news organizations seeking information regarding my current situation have, due to the difficulty in contacting me directly, been misled by individuals associated with my father into printing false claims about my situation," Snowden wrote in the e-mail.
He added: "Neither my father, his lawyer Bruce Fein, nor his wife Mattie Fein represent me in any way. None of them have been or are involved in my current situation, and this will not change in the future. I ask journalists to understand that they do not possess any special knowledge regarding my situation or future plans, and not to exploit the tragic vacuum of my father's emotional compromise for the sake of tabloid news."
The e-mail came just hours after Mattie Fein, who is her husband's spokeswoman, said they do not trust the intentions of journalist Glenn Greenwald or WikiLeaks and worry they are giving the whistleblower bad advice. "The thing we have been most concerned about is that the people who have influence over Ed will try to use him for their own means," the Wall Street Journal quoted Ms. Fein as saying.
But Snowden rejected the concerns, saying there is no conflict amongst him and any of the individuals or organizations with whom he has been involved. "I've been fortunate to have legal advice from an international team of some of the finest lawyers in the world, and to work with journalists whose integrity and courage are beyond question," he said.
The 30-year-old American has been staying at an undisclosed location in Russia since being granted temporary political asylum on August 1. Prior to that, Snowden had been stuck inside the transit zone at a Moscow airport for five weeks after fleeing Hong Kong when the U.S. charged him with three felony counts, including violations of the U.S. Espionage Act.