Russia 'considering giving Edward Snowden to Trump as a gift'

Russia is looking at turning over Edward Snowden as a "gift" to Donald Trump, according to US intelligence sources quoted by NBC News.

One senior US official said they have analysed highly sensitive reports detailing Russian deliberations, and that handing over Snowden is one of many ploys to "curry favour" with the new US president.

Another source told NBC that intelligence on these conversations have been gathered since the inauguration on January 20.

Trump has previously called the NSA leaker a "traitor" and a "spy", and has said he deserves to be executed.

Snowden's lawyer Ben Wizner said: "Team Snowden has received no such signals and has no new reason for concern."

On Twitter, Snowden said that this was "irrefutable evidence" he did not collaborate with Russian intelligence services.

Former deputy national security adviser Juan Zarate urged the Trump administration to exercise caution in terms of accepting any Snowden offer from the Russian government.

"For Russia, this would be a win-win," he said.

"They've already extracted what they needed from Edward Snowden in terms of information and they've certainly used him to beat the United States over the head in terms of its surveillance and cyber activity."