Edward Snowden emailed a statement to The Huffington Post
In it, he says his father's legal team does "not possess special knowledge regarding my situation"
"None of them have been or are involved in my current situation," the statement says
Snowden's statement followed a news report about a rift
The man wanted by the United States for leaking details of National Security Agency intelligence gathering says journalists have been misled into printing false claims about his legal situation, The Huffington Post reported Thursday.
In an e-mailed statement to the news organization, Edward Snowden distanced himself from his father, Lon Snowden; his father’s attorney, Bruce Fein; and Fein’s associates, saying “they do not possess any special knowledge regarding my situation.”
“None of them have been or are involved in my current situation, and this will not change in the future,” the statement said.
“I ask journalists to understand that they do not possess any special knowledge regarding my situation or future plans, and not to exploit the tragic vacuum of my father’s emotional compromise for the sake of tabloid news.”
The statement was released the same day The Wall Street Journal reported that Lon Snowden’s legal team does not trust his son’s closest advisers: WikiLeaks and Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald.
“I would like to correct the record: I’ve been fortunate to have legal advice from an international team of some of the finest lawyers in the world, and to work with journalists whose integrity and courage are beyond question,” Snowden said in the statement.
Snowden stepped forward publicly in June to claim responsibility for leaking to the media, including The Guardian, that the NSA had secretly collected and stored millions of phone records from accounts in the United States. The agency also collected information from U.S. companies on the Internet activity of overseas residents, he said.
Snowden, a former NSA contractor, fled first to Hong Kong and then to Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum despite pressure from the Obama administration to return him to the United States to face charges.
He has been charged with three felony counts, including violations of the U.S. Espionage Act, for the leaks.
The Huffington Post reported that the American Civil Liberties Union confirmed that the e-mailed statement was from Snowden. The ACLU has lauded Snowden’s actions as a “service” to the country, and it reportedly is helping coordinate the former intelligence contractor’s defense in the United States.
CNN’s Chelsea J. Carter and Jake Tapper contributed to this report.