Obama on Edward Snowden's Hong Kong Departure

The president responds to the latest on the NSA whistleblower's location.
5:01 | 06/24/13

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Transcript for Obama on Edward Snowden's Hong Kong Departure
This is a special group. Report from ABC news. Hello everyone I'm -- -- -- new York and this is an ABC news digital special report. For the first time since the Justice Department charged NSA whistle blower Edwards snowed in with espionage President Obama has addressed the US government's efforts to -- noted caught. And sent home for -- -- -- the president. You know -- -- -- what we know is that we're following all the appropriate legal channels. And working with. And various other countries to make sure that. Rule of laws observed and beyond that all refer to the Justice Department that has been actively involved in the case. Am President Obama they're playing it pretty cool but the situation making more tense than he's letting on for more on that we are joined now by ABC's Mary Bruce hi there Mary what's the latest we know about where Edwards noted is. Good afternoon -- and that's right the White House says that they believe -- Robertson is in Moscow he is still in Russia. Harsh words from the White House today about the Chinese dissident they -- Hong Kong authorities made a deliberate choice that was the -- is deliberate choice to release noted. And we know that he travelled from from Hong Kong to Moscow on Sunday he did not get on it. Flight to Havana has he was expected and the White House says that this choice to release his fugitive. And let him travel from Hong Kong has damaged the US China relationship weird White House spokesman Jay Carney say today that they're just not buying that this was. Some technical decision by the Hong Kong immigration officials and this was a deliberate choice it is now -- that relationship. There was not has also been some discussion about. Noting his passport but Jay Carney made very clear that the Hong Kong authorities knew and knew very well -- had plenty of heads up that his passport had been about to take a lesson. No. And all over discussions through Friday that the authorities in Hong Kong raise any issues regarding the sufficiency of the US is provisional arrest request. In light of this we find their decision. To be particularly troubling. Since June -- when we learned that mr. Snowden was in Hong Kong US authorities have been in continual contact with their Hong Kong counterparts. At the working and senior levels attorney general Eric Holder. Placed a phone call on June 19. With his counterpart the Hong -- secretary of justice for justice rather stressing the importance of the matter and urging Hong Kong to honor our request for snow this arrest. So -- can expect top congress is any repercussions here. Well the White House won't say they definitely said that unquestionable -- that their decision today to release noted. Will harm and has done some damage to the US Chinese relationship -- they -- of what those repercussions might be just yet. We do know that the present however has not talked directly with president -- Tonya is what's latest information we have in terms of where it snowed in May be -- We -- Cuba Ecuador. Anything now. Well that's the nine dollar question people knew where he was that's of whatever went looking for we heard as -- -- we -- that he was exposed on a flight. From Moscow to -- van and then from Havana down to act -- -- we know that he is not gotten on that flight the White House believes that he is currently in Moscow now so where he's headed next -- is still -- you know everyone's gas. But that was the current had been original theories that he might be heading to Ecuador and you know that the White House has been in some conversations with with authorities -- there as well. -- -- -- -- had a picture up there that is his and dean. Airplane the couple is apparently a flight and -- and that was supposed to be wary things we know he's not there at least not on that flight anyway. So we don't know much except that he's not in Hong Kong anymore and that. Certainly is not a fact that he's that is sitting well with the white house with what can we expect to happen now. Only know the White House is is talking with their Russian counterparts and -- urged Russia very strongly. Two to return him to -- to release him back to the US release and American authorities but. Right now everyone is looking -- we don't know where it currently is they believe he's in Russia. And and the White House is adamant that he needs to be were released and returned back to the US patent Leno -- hadn't got -- extra help getting out of Hong Kong. That we we noted that he's been in touch and working with. With some of the folks over at WikiLeaks added that obviously support his mission support his cause to release this kind of information but beyond that we don't know much in terms of who might have been helping to usher him where. And I -- and again we don't know exactly what the US government's next move is we know that they have issued. Sort of veiled warnings -- say to any country who might consider harboring him. Do you think it's possible that some country may decide he let me win some points and just hand him over. It's always talked on that's of course what what the White House would like to see happen but as they continually stress in this is a very ongoing situation ongoing investigation and so they're not giving us too many details as you might imagine -- in what is become quite a -- here all right thank you so much and avarice. And for more on the race to -- snow -- got abcnews.com. I'm Tanya Rivero -- new York and this has been an ABC news digital special report. This has been a special report from me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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