Guardian UK reporter Glenn Greenwald appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday to discuss his coverage of the NSA whistleblower case. During the process, he took umbrage with host Mika Brzezinski’s use of White House “talking points” to defend the NSA tactics on monitoring Americans. And he let her know.

During the lengthy segment, Greenwald pressed a few points concerning the legality of Snowden’s actions and the Guardian’s reporting, stating:

  • What we disclosed is of great public interest, of great importance in a democracy…that the U.S. government is building this massive spying apparatus, aimed at its own population…and it (the data leak) harms nobody.
  • The only people who have been harmed are those in power who want to conceal their actions and their wrongdoing from the people to whom they are supposed to be accountable.

In a contentious interview that extended for the entire opening segment of the morning show, Greenwald and Mika Brzezinski battled more than once. The sparks started flying after Greenwald tried to answer Brzezinski’s two claims that Congress knew about the NSA program and that it was legal:

Following that little back and forth, Greenwald was summarizing just how expensive and expansive the NSA’s program has become, referencing the government’s spending of “trillions of dollars into developing extremely sophisticated technology…the idea, the objective of this is to enable the NSA to monitor every singe conversation and every single form of human behavior, anywhere in the world.”

Brzezinski later interrupted Greenwald and appeared to be reading from a paper when she asked, “Isn’t it the case that reviewing of emails and wiretapping cannot take place without an additional warrant from a judge?”

Greenwald responded by charging Brzezinski was reading “talking points.”

“The White House talking points that you’re using are completely misleading and false,” he said.

That drew a strong reaction from the “Morning Joe” co-host, who accused Greenwald of not wanting to answer a question about whether the NSA’s means are technically legal or not. Greenwald eventually responded that the Obama administration has not let the courts rule on that topic despite attempts over the last five years by groups to do so:

(Note: The clip is different than the one above, but the freeze frame remains the same.)

The entire segment can be viewed below:

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