WASHINGTON — Edward J. Snowden, who has admitted disclosing secret U.S. surveillance operations at home and abroad, says he was “trained as a spy” and that he was given false names and undercover assignments abroad that made him more than a low-level computer analyst.

In an interview with NBC News, Snowden said the Obama administration forced him to seek temporary asylum in Russia last summer after he fled from Hong Kong to avoid arrest and extradition to America, and discovered that the State Department had revoked his passport.

“The reality is I never intended to end up in Russia,” he said. “I had a flight booked to Cuba onwards to Latin America, and I was stopped because the United States government decided to revoke my passport and trap me in Moscow Airport.”

“So when people ask why are you in Russia, I say, ‘Please ask the State Department.’ “

Secretary of State John Kerry responded on NBC’s “Today” show, saying Snowden “should man up” and return home to face trial.