Rep. Peter King: Brian Willliams Gave Snowden an ‘Infomercial’

By Jordan Chariton 

KingRep. Peter King has been one of the most outspoken politicians against NSA-leaker Edward Snowden, and the New York Congressman didn’t mince words this morning about Brian Williams’ interview with Snowden. King talked about the “myth” that Snowden has revealed an NSA abuse epidemic: “Unfortunately, Brian Williams almost added to that last night, basically giving him an infomercial,” King said on “Morning Joe.” “I really wish Brian Williams would have gone after him, and asked him if he had one piece of evidence that shows that the NSA has violated the law in any way.” (Video after the jump).

Meanwhile, The Baltimore Sun‘s David Zurawik has a much different take, complimenting NBC News and Williams for their “best work in a long time.”

Overall, the questions Williams asked in the interview conducted in a Russian hotel room were probing, contextualized and consistently elicited revealing answers from Snowden. In one case, NBC News did try to report on something Snowden said in the interview, his claim that he had tried to go through traditional whistleblower channels before taking classified data and fleeing the country. And it was hugely important that Williams told viewers NBC was able to report that “multiple sources” confirmed Snowden’s account of expressing his concerns in writing at least once to supervisors that NSA was overstepping its legal authority in gathering vast amounts of personal data from American citizens in the form of phone and computer records.

And the ultimate source just confirmed Snowden’s claim—and NBC News’ reporting—this afternoon: the U.S. government released an email Snowden sent in April, 2013 to NSA lawyers, voicing his concerns about the agency’s domestic surveillance programs.