Edward Snowden
Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden poses for a photo during an interview in an undisclosed location in December 2013 in Moscow, Russia.Barton Gellman/Getty Images

In the race towards the White House, there's one US presidential election candidate that wants to "welcome home Edward Snowden" as soon as possible – and it's definitely not Hillary Clinton.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein, while answering questions during an hour-long video recording on Facebook Live, took a vastly different approach to other political figureheads and called for exiled whistleblower Edward Snowden to be fully pardoned.

"I have called for pardoning Snowden," Stein said. "Not only pardoning him, but, welcoming him home as a hero, because he has done an incredible service to our country at great cost to himself for having to live away from his family, his friends, his job, his network, to basically live as an expatriate.

"What he has done is revealed the violations, of our constitutional rights, that were taking place and that still are taking place. I would say not only bring Snowden back, but, bring him into my administration as a member of the Cabinet."

Stein was previously nominated as the Green Party presidential candidate in 2012 and is expected to once again run in a bid for the White House if formally endorsed at the party's convention in August.

Unlike her opponents, she is feverishly in favour of whistleblower rights. Discussing well-known figures like Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Aaron Swartz, Stein said they were all people who have "paid an incredible price" for freedom and privacy.

She said: "I would pardon Chelsea Manning, and some other whistleblowers out there [...]I also want to mention Aaron Swartz, who was a proponent of a free and liberated Internet and for sharing our resources on that internet, who was basically hounded into suicide by a very oppressive Department of Justice (DoJ).

"He, in my mind, is another one of these heroes that we need to remember and be very thankful for. The people who've paid an incredible price for our rights of not only the freedom to communicate on the internet but also the freedom to guard our privacy."

Jill Stein
Jill Stein waits to speak before announcing that she will seek the Green Party's presidential nomination, at the National Press Club, June 23, 2015.Drew Angerer/Getty Images

During the campaign, Hillary Clinton, who was the US secretary of state at the time of the Snowden revelations, has declined to change her position on the former NSA contractor, who is currently living under asylum in Russia.

In one democratic debate in October 2015, she said: "[Snowden] broke the laws of the United States. He could have been a whistleblower, he could have gotten all the protections of a whistleblower. He chose not to do that. He stole very important information that has fallen into the wrong hands so I think he should not be brought home without facing the music."