WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration appears to be trying to demote Edward Snowden's status to that of a common fugitive unworthy of extraordinary pursuit.
President Barack Obama has referred to Snowden as a "29-year-old hacker."
During a visit to Africa, Obama said Thursday that Snowden's case was "not exceptional from a legal perspective."
It's the second time in a week that the administration has toned down its rhetoric as Snowden remains out of reach. First China and then Russia refused to send Snowden back to the U.S. to face espionage charges.
There are plenty of reasons for Obama to pull back, including a desire to avoid international horse-trading for Snowden.
Obama also says he has lots of business to do with China and Russia.
By NANCY BENAC
The Associated Press