Edward Snowden's father says son 'did what he knew was right'

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Edward Snowden's father came out swinging in support of his fugitive son on Friday, saying the intelligence leaker did "what he knew was right".

The former National Security Agency contractor has been holed up in a Moscow airport for weeks after revealing secret details on vast US surveillance programs, sparking an uproar both at home and abroad.

Washington - where many have derided him as a traitor - wants to prosecute Snowden on espionage charges. He has applied for asylum in Russia, among several other countries.

"I think my son, whether it's today or 100 years from now, he'll be comfortable with what he did," Mr Lon Snowden said in an exclusive live interview with NBC's Today show.

"He did what he knew was right. He shared the truth with the American people."

The elder Snowden, who said he has had no direct contact with his son, expressed gratitude for any support the 30-year-old was receiving.

"I'm thankful for anybody at this point that is providing him with assistance to keep him safe and secure," he said.

"If WikiLeaks is doing that, I'm thankful for that," he added in reference to the anti-secrecy website.

Mr Lon Snowden, describing himself as an "angry American citizen", also slammed some members of Congress.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives narrowly beat back an effort to cut funding to NSA programmes that scoop up telephone data on millions of Americans.

"It's all about the money," he said.