»I applied for asylum in 27 different countries around the world. Places like France and Germany, places like Norway, that I felt the U.S. government and the American public could be comfortable, that was fine for a whistleblower to be in, and yet every time one of these governments got close to opening their doors, the phone would ring in their foreign ministries and on the other end of the line would be a very senior American official.
It was one of two people. Then-Secretary of State John Kerry or then vice president Joe Biden. And they would say, look, we don’t know what the law is, we don’t care if you can do this or not, we understand that protecting whistleblowers is a matter of human rights and you could do this if you want to. But if you protect this man, if you let this guy out of Russia, there will be consequences. We’re not going to say what they’re going to be, but there will be a response.«