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Zynga founder Mark Pincus asks Obama to pardon Edward Snowden

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Mark Pincus (left) and other tech giants meet with the President (Credit: Getty Images)

Embattled NSA leaker Edward Snowden has one high tech defender: Mark Pincus.

The founder of Zynga (and current chief product officer and chairman) reportedly asked President Obama to pardon Snowden at a face to face meeting yesterday. The president rejected the suggestion, according to CNN.

Discussing Snowden wasn't the main reason Pincus and other tech leaders -- including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Twitter CEO Dick Dostolo, and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer -- were invited to Washington. Obama and vice president Joe Biden asked them out to discuss ways to improve the still struggling website.

Tech leaders, though, had something else on their mind.

"We didn't fly across the country for a discussion on," one source, who represents one of the companies at the meeting, told the cable network.

Pincus is a long-time Obama supporter. In the last election, he gave $1 million to Priorities Action USA, the super PAC that supported Obama, according to The Washington Post.

His suggestion is one that has been debated in the online world, but had little chance of success. White House officials note Snowden is accused of leaking classified information, which is a felony. They have urged Russia to return him to the U.S. to stand trial "where he will be accorded full due process and protections."

Tech officials said in a statement that they were happy to have the opportunity to open a dialogue about the controversial NSA practices.

"We appreciated the opportunity to share directly with the President our principles on government surveillance that we released last week and we urged him to move aggressively on reform," they said in a joint statement after the meeting.

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