Snowden: 'I'd like to return to the United States'

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The former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden said in an interview with CBS "This Morning" that he would like to return to the United States and that 'one of the big topics in Europe' is whether Germany and France should offer him asylum.

"One of the big topics in Europe right now is should Germany and France invite me in to get asylum, that's how they are handling the response to this new book," Snowden, who is releasing his memoir 'Permanent Record', said. "I would like to return to the United States, that is the ultimate goal. But if I'm going to spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom line demand that we all have to agree to, is atleast I get a fair trial and that is the one thing the government has refused to guarantee because they won't provide access to what is called a public interest defense."

Snowden had said he would love French President Emmanuel Macron to grant him political asylum after one of Macron's ministers said if it was up to her she would offer him asylum.

French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said at the weekend she supported granting asylum to him, though she made clear she was speaking in a personal capacity and it was not an official offer.

Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013 after he revealed details of secret surveillance programs by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Many civil rights activists see him as a hero, but at home in the United States authorities want him to stand trial for espionage.