Gregory Blasts Greenwald for Aiding and Abetting Snowden

Gregory: 'The question of who's a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you're doing'

"Meet The Press" host David Gregory and reporter Glenn Greenwald had a testy exchange Sunday after Gregory asked him if he should be charged with a crime for aiding NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Greenwald shot back that he felt it was "pretty extraordinary" that any journalist would publicly question whether a fellow reporter should be charged for working with sources, but Gregory replied the question of "who's a journalist may be up to a debate" with regard to Greenwald's work with Snowden, who fled the U.S. for Hong Kong, has been charged with espionage and reportedly is en route to Cuba:

GREGORY: Final question for you, but I'd like you to hang around. I just want to get Pete Williams in here as well. To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn't you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?

GREENWALD: I think it's pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies. The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence, the idea that I've aided and abetted him in any way. The scandal that arose in Washington before our stories began was about the fact that the Obama administration is trying to criminalize investigative journalism by going through the e-mails and phone records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory that you just embraced, being a co-conspirator in felonies for working with sources. If you want to embrace that theory, it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information, is a criminal, and it's precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States. It's why the New Yorker's Jane Mayer said investigative reporting has come to a standstill, her word, as a result of the theory that you just referenced.

GREGORY: The question of who's a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you're doing. Of course anyone who's watching this understands, I was asking a question. That question has been raised by lawmakers as well. I'm not embracing anything, but obviously I take your point.

Greenwald tweeted about the exchange afterward.

Gregory responded to it on air, saying Greenwald had an opportunity to debate the journalistic aspect of the NSA surveillance case on "Meet the Press," and that Gregory was simply posing a question earlier, not embracing the viewpoint himself that Greenwald should be charged for assisting Snowden.