FBI Director James Comey says he's confused when he hears people referring to former national security contractor Edward Snowden as a "hero whistle-blower."
"I have trouble applying the 'whistle-blower' label to someone who just disagrees with the way our country is structured and operates," he told reporters Thursday.
The government program to conduct electronic surveillance through phone carriers and Internet service providers is an example of "the government operating in the way the framers intended," with all three branches of government playing a role, Comey said.
But revelations about that program — which came from documents Snowden took with him when he left a contractor for the National Security Agency — "is a small piece of the information that was stolen," Comey said. And that includes information about other operations that would not have whistle-blower protection, he said.