President Obama said Thursday he won't engage in "wheeling and dealing and trading" to get NSA leaker Edward Snowden extradited to the U.S., but he remains "concerned" over what other classified information Snowden may still try to disseminate.
Asked by CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett whether the U.S. would try to interdict any flight Snowden might take through U.S. airspace, Mr. Obama said he wouldn't be "scrambling military jets to go after a 29-year-old hacker."
President Obama said he hasn't personally called the leaders of Russia or of China, because he "shouldn't have to." He referred to the Snowden case as something that should be dealt with through routine legal channels and said it was "not exceptional from a law enforcement perspective."
The U.S. chief executive said that while the, "damage was done with respect to the initial leaks," Snowden was still believed to be in possession of further classified information.
"I continue to be concerned about the other documents he may have," Mr. Obama said at the joint news conference in Dakar with Senegalese President Macky Sall. "He has those documents. He's released some of them but not all of them have been released."
Mr. Obama also said the fact Snowden obtained the secret documents had revealed significant vulnerabilities at the National Security Agency. He said his first priority was preventing a repeat of the entire episode, which began when the NSA computer guru went on the lamb with reams of top-secret data.
Snowden, meanwhile, remained holed-up Thursday morning in an airport in Moscow, seemingly waiting on travel documentation after the U.S. government invalidated his passport.
Ecuador is considering his official request for asylum.
The Ecuadorian government confirmed Thursday morning, however, that no travel documents had been issued as yet for Snowden, and their decision on granting asylum to the former NSA contractor was still pending.
Ecuador's National Secretary of Political Affairs, Betty Tola, told reporters in Quito on Thursday that the reason there has been no decision on Snowden's asylum request was because one could not be made until he was on Ecuadorian soil -- either in Ecuador or in one of their consulates or embassies in another country.
Ecuador's foreign minister said Wednesday his government could take months to decide whether to grant Snowden asylum.