Journalist Glenn Greenwald, known for his work with Edward Snowden, highlighted the hypocrisy of Democrats over government leaks on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday morning.
Under former President Barack Obama, Greenwald noted that Democrats hated government leaks, but explained that it's an entirely different story now that President Donald Trump is in office.
Greenwald pointed to fellow panelist Carl Bernstein, known for his work in the Watergate scandal, as reason why it's important for government employees to give journalists critical information the public needs to know that might not be exposed otherwise.
The "problem," Greenwald went on to explain, is that Democrats, under Obama, have unleashed a "war" on government leakers.
If you look at the last eight years, there has been a very concerted war on not just sources and whistleblowers, but also journalists, implemented by not Donald Trump but by the Obama administration. More sources prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act than in all previous administrations combined. Journalists such as James Rosen at Fox News and Jim Risen at The New York Times and those of us who worked on the Snowden reporting constantly threatened with prosecution or having our phone records subpoenaed and the like. And Democratic officeholders in D.C. were virtually unanimous in the idea that people who leak information that’s classified are villains, they’re traitors, they oughta go to prison.
However, now that Trump is in the White House, Democrats have completely flipped their position on government leaks, Greenwald said, which has allowed Trump to declare his hatred for leakers as well.
"This framework has been created, both rhetorical and legal, over the last eight years that says that people who leak classified information regardless of how important that information is, ought to be punished, and that's the rhetoric and framework Donald Trump is seizing on," Greenwald said.
"It's the reason why it's been so damaging to have watched Democrats, who suddenly love leaks now that it's helping them, weigh such an aggressive war on journalism and investigative reporting over the last eight years," he explained.
Watch Greenwald's comments below:
Government leaks have been a huge problem for Trump in the opening weeks of his presidency. Details from classified documents and phone conversations have been routinely leaked, which many believe lead to the ousting of Micheal Flynn, who served as the national security adviser for a mere three weeks.