On Wednesday night, NBC aired an exclusive interview with NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden. The interview, with Brian Williams, took place in a Moscow hotel; it was his first American interview on network television. He notably appeared via video at a SXSW panel and a TED conference.
Nearly a year ago, files that Snowden, a former NSA contractor, leaked to journalists revealed the NSA’s web of mass surveillance and data collection. Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras won a Pulitzer Prize for public service for bringing these abuses to light.
Edward Snowden is heralded as a hero to some and traitor to others, like Rep. Peter King. In a run-up to the airing of the interview, Secretary of State John Kerry described Snowden as “sad and disgraceful.” If the NSA whistle-blower wishes to return to the United States he’ll face charges under the Espionage Act.
Below are some highlights from the interview — including how many documents he took, thoughts on the Russian government and returning home. The interview can also be viewed in its entirety at the bottom, via NBC:
Snowden on government exploiting 9/11:
Snowden on being able to sleep at night:
Edward Snowden explains his lack of contact with Russian government:
Breaking the law to do the right thing:
The whistle-blower explains how much he took:
Snowden on going home:
On being a patriot: