Watch: Highlights from Edward Snowden's interview with Brian Williams

The NSA whistle-blower reveals he was a trained spy, discusses Russia and explains why he thinks he's a patriot

Sarah Gray
May 29, 2014 5:55PM (UTC)

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:

Full interview:

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

MORE FROM Sarah Gray

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Brian Williams Edward Snowden Nsa Nsa Whistleblower Putin Russia Spying Technology Video


Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •