Edward Snowden: 'I Was Trained As A Spy'

NBC's Brian Wililams sat down with Edward Snowden for an exclusive interview. The NSA whistleblower rejected the claim that he was a mere hacker.

Edward Snowden: 'I Was Trained As A Spy'

​You’ve heard him called a hero, and a traitor … but according to the man himself, he’s a trained spy. (Via Flickr / ChrisGoldNY)

EDWARD SNOWDEN: “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas — pretending to work in a job that I’m not." (Via NBC)

In that excerpt from NBC's exclusive interview, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shot back at the claim that he was just a low-level hacker, a term he says his critics have used to discredit him.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker." (Via CBS

He went on to say he worked undercover overseas and was a “technical expert” for the CIA and NSA. (Via The Guardian)

Last summer, Snowden was charged with espionage for leaking secret NSA documents that detailed U.S. mass surveillance programs. He’s now living under temporary asylum in Russia. (Via ITN

The interview, which Brian Williams conducted in a Moscow hotel room, is Snowden’s first with a U.S. network. (Via NBC

And according to The New York Times, NBC spent months planning the interview, keeping it shrouded in secrecy. The back story of the interview contained its own quotient of cloak-and-dagger activity, including unannounced plane travel, lost luggage, hotel bookings under assumed names and two days sequestered in a room with a view of Red Square.”

Williams also interviewed former Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald as part of the special. The full one-hour interview airs Wednesday night.