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Edward Snowden wants you to call him what he is: a trained government spy

Alexis Santos

Edward Snowden has been called a variety of things: whistleblower, patriot, traitor. But when it comes to his technical expertise, he's usually just referred to as a hacker, contractor or some flavor of system administrator. That, Snowden says, doesn't do his role and background justice. In an excerpt of an NBC interview, Snowden asserts that he's a technical expert "trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word," worked undercover and overseas for the CIA and NSA, lectured at a counterintelligence training academy and implemented systems for the government "at all levels." According to the infamous whistleblower, he qualifies as a spy in the classic sense since he "lived and worked undercover overseas -- pretending to work in a job that I'm not -- and even being assigned a name that was not mine."

So, how does Snowden claim Uncle Sam gets away with obscuring his experience? By pointing to the less illustrious portions of his resume, of course. "But what they're trying to do, is they're trying to use one position that I've had in a career here or there to distract from the totality of my experience," Snowden explained. "So when they say that I'm a low-level systems administrator, that I don't know what I'm talking about, I'd say it's somewhat misleading."

You can feast your peepers on the clip below, and catch NBC's full chat with the international man of mystery when it airs tonight.

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