MGN Online

Published: Oct 17, 2013 11:32 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden says that he did not take any secret NSA documents to Russia and that intelligence officials in China as well as Russia cannot get access to the documents he had obtained before leaving the United States.
    
The New York Times reported Thursday that it interviewed Snowden over several days recently via encrypted online communications.
    
The newspaper reports that Snowden says he handed over all the documents he had to journalists during his stay in Hong Kong.
    
He says he did not retain copies of the documents and did not take them to Russia because, in his words, "it wouldn't serve the public interest."
    
Snowden tells the Times that that he believes he is a whistle-blower who acted in the nation's best interests.