Snowden was interviewed in Moscow over two days by Post reporter Barton Gellman, who has received numerous leaks from the former NSA contractor. The interview was conducted six months after Snowden's revelations first appeared in the Post and Britain's Guardian newspaper.
Gellman described Snowden as relaxed and animated over two days of nearly unbroken conversation, fueled by burgers, pasta, ice cream and Russian pastry.
In June the Justice Department unsealed a criminal complaint charging Snowden with espionage and felony theft of government property. Russia granted him temporary asylum five months ago.
The effects of Snowden's revelations have been evident in the courts, Congress, Silicon Valley and capitals around the world, where U.S. allies have reacted angrily to reports of U.S. monitoring of their leaders' cellphone calls. Brazil and members of the European Union are considering ways to better protect their data, and U.S. technology companies such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are looking at ways to block government collection of data.
Snowden, now 30, said he is not being disloyal to the U.S. or to his former employer.
"I am not trying to bring down the NSA. I am working to improve the NSA," he said. "I am still working for the NSA right now. They are the only ones who don't realize it."
Asked about the Snowden interview, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said, "Mr. Snowden faces felony charges here in the United States and should be returned to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be afforded due process and all the protections of our criminal-justice system."
The Associated Press