Edward Snowden Opens Up in New Interview

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)

Edward Snowden: 'I Was Trained As A Spy'
Edward Snowden: 'I Was Trained As A Spy'

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.

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

The Guardian points out he went on to say he worked undercover overseas and was a "technical expert" for the CIA and NSA.

ITN reports 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.

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.