Nancy Pelosi Booed, Heckled Over Edward Snowden, NSA Comments At Netroots Nation 2013

Pelosi Booed Over Snowden Remarks

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) drew vocal backlash Saturday for her answers to questions about National Security Agency data surveillance and whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Speaking at a gathering of progressive activists at Netroots Nation, Pelosi weighed in on recent controversy over domestic spying, claiming it was unfair to label this President George W. Bush's "fourth term." She argued that Democrats had brought increased oversight to the NSA programs by giving Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts -- or FISA courts -- a role in the process.

As she spoke about the need to "balance" privacy and security, a man stood and yelled, "it's not a balance, it makes us less safe." The man continued to decry "secret courts," and staffers began to escort him from the room.

Pelosi said it was fine for him to stay, but the man was eventually ejected. On the way out, some members of the audience began to shout at the staffers to "leave him alone."

The conversation then shifted to Snowden, who on Friday was charged with espionage over his leaking of classified documents to media outlets.

Pelosi said that Snowden "did violate the law in terms of releasing those documents," a remark that elicited boos and yells throughout the ballroom. One man screamed, "You suck!"

Earlier this month, Pelosi said she thought Snowden should be prosecuted for his role in the leaks.

As the discussion continued Saturday, Pelosi faced an impromptu question from an attendee who said we shouldn't be outsourcing national security. The California Democrat said she agreed, drawing applause.

While Pelosi eventually won the crowd over, she faced a number of aggressive questions on issues such as immigration reform and drones as she departed the venue.

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