snowden on petraeus
Edward Snowden speaks via video link during a conference at University of Buenos Aires Law School, Argentina, Nov. 14, 2016. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has been on the run after he shared classified information about the U.S. government’s surveillance programs, voiced a critique of the country’s “two-tiered” justice system, referring to President-elect Donald Trump’s consideration of former CIA Director General David Petraeus for the position of secretary of state, in an interview published Sunday.

“We have a two-tiered system of justice in the United States, where people who are either well-connected to government or they have access to an incredible amount of resources get very light punishments,” said Snowden, in the exclusive interview with Yahoo News’ Katie Couric. “Perhaps the best-known case in recent history here is Gen. Petraeus — who shared information that was far more highly classified than I ever did with journalists.”

Petraeus, a retired general, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in 2015 after he leaked classified information to biographer Paula Broadwell. After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to probation for two years and fined $100,000.

“And he shared this information not with the public for their benefit, but with his biographer and lover for personal benefit — conversations that had information, detailed information, about military special-access programs, that’s classified above top secret, conversations with the president and so on,” Snowden added in the interview.

“He never spent a single day in jail,” said Snowden, who has sought asylum in Moscow, as he faces felony charges in the U.S. for espionage.

Petraeus acknowledged his “mistake” on Sunday. “Five years ago, I made a serious mistake. I acknowledged it, I apologized for it, I paid a very heavy price for it, and I’ve learned from it,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Gen. David Petraeus, former CIA director of CIA and former commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, gives a speech after exiting the federal courthouse after facing criminal sentencing, April 23, 2015, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by John W. Adkisson/Getty Images

On the other hand, Snowden’s disclosure of disclosed tens of thousands of highly classified NSA documents to multiple journalists, who went on to publish them, has been looked upon as harmful to national security by U.S. authorities. Social activists have repeatedly called for Snowden to be pardoned, hailing his role as a whistleblower.