Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who disclosed America's secret surveillance programme, may have been working with the Chinese government to reveal intelligence secrets, a US lawmaker has alleged.
"There's a lot of reason for suspicion," Republican Congressman Peter King told MSNBC.
Snowden, an American citizen, is currently hiding in Hong Kong.
The US has launched a criminal investigation against him for allegedly leaking the secretive American programme.
"First of all, the fact that he transferred money to China; the fact that that he had studied Chinese; the fact that his girlfriend had some connections to China; the fact that, of all countries in the world, he went to China and he arranged to have the papers or his documents released on the same weekend that President Obama was meeting with the president of China and why he's still in China. What is Chinese intelligence doing with all of this?" King said.
"There's no definitive proof yet. But it's something that has to be investigated fully. My belief is that it is being fully investigated," the New York Congressman said.
"To me, people who glorify him and make him out to be a hero are just doing damage to the country, just like Snowden did. This person is not a hero," he said.
"He is a person who has betrayed this country, violated his oath and caused incalculable damage to our national security," King said.
Snowden, an ex-CIA technical assistant, exposed the National Security Agency's vast electronic surveillance operation last week.