Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden Getty

Edward Snowden has said the emails released by the National Security Agency to show he had not made internal whistleblowing efforts are "tailored and incomplete".

Earlier, the NSA released an email exchange that it claims provided no evidence the former contractor made complaints internally about the agency's vast surveillance programmes before leaking data to the public.

Snowden's email exchange in April 2013 with the NSA's Office of General Counsel was revealed after he said in an interview with NBC that he had tried internal whistleblowing while working at the agency.

In an email to the Washington Post, Snowden said the "NSA's new discovery of written contact between me and its lawyers.... raises serious concerns."

"If the White House is interested in the whole truth, rather than the NSA's clearly tailored and incomplete leak today for a political advantage, it will require the NSA to ask my former colleagues, management, and the senior leadership team about whether I, at any time, raised concerns about the NSA's improper and at times unconstitutional surveillance activities."

"It will not take long to receive an answer," he said.

He added that the NSA system "is designed to ensure that even the most valid concerns are suppressed and ignored, not acted upon."

"Today's strangely tailored and incomplete leak only shows the NSA feels it has something to hide."

Snowden received international attention after he leaked up to 1.7 million top secret documents about the NSA's surveillance programmes.

The Obama administration faced severe criticism across the globe as the documents revealed that the NSA tapped telephone conversations and spied on the internet activities of prominent people, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Snowden fled the US in May 2013 and has been living under temporary asylum in Russia. He is wanted by the US on charges of espionage and theft of government property.