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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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July 4th, 2014
05:36 PM ET

Hillary Clinton walks line on Edward Snowden

(CNN) – Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton told The Guardian that NSA leaker Edward Snowden should have the right to a legal defense.

"In any case that I'm aware of as a former lawyer, he has a right to mount a defense. And he certainly has a right to launch both a legal defense and a public defense, which of course can affect the legal defense.

Whether he chooses to return or not is up to him. He certainly can stay in Russia, apparently under Putin's protection, for the rest of his life if that's what he chooses. But if he is serious about engaging in the debate then he could take the opportunity to come back and have that debate. But that's his decision," Clinton said.

She appears to be walking the line, between those who say Snowden is a traitor, and those who say he is a freedom fighter and patriot.

CNN political commentator and New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, Roll Call's Christina Bellantoni, and Talking Points Memo's Sahil Kapur discuss.

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