R James Woolsey
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Ex-CIA head Woolsey: US 'lost leverage' in Snowden talks

25 June 2013 Last updated at 00:42 BST

The US has criticised Russia and China for allowing fugitive former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden to leave Hong Kong for Moscow.

As the Obama administration warns countries around the world not to harbour Mr Snowden, who is wanted for leaking top secret intelligence documents to the media, former CIA Director R James Woolsey said that the US had lost "a great deal of the leverage" in talks with countries such Russia, China and Ecuador by being insufficiently firm in the past.

"They've said something's unacceptable, and then they accept it," Mr Woolsey said.

Mr Woolsey told the BBC's Laura Trevelyan the US must now persuade countries assisting Mr Snowden that "we're serious and their lives will not be pleasant."