"Meet the Press" host David Gregory asked columnist Glenn Greenwald why he shouldn't be charged with a crime for working with NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Greenwald was on to discuss his source's Sunday morning flight from Hong Kong to Moscow. (It is unclear where Snowden will ultimately land, though reports have suggested he is headed to Venezuela.) At the tail end of the conversation, Gregory suddenly asked Greenwald why the government shouldn't be going after him.
"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?" he asked.
Greenwald replied that it was "pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies," and that there was no evidence to back up Gregory's claim that he had "aided" Snowden.
Gregory replied that "the question of who's a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you're doing," but added that he was merely posing a question others have asked, and not "embracing anything."
Greenwald tweeted about the exchange soon after:
Who needs the government to try to criminalize journalism when you have David Gregory to do it?
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 23, 2013
Gregory then addressed that tweet, and Greenwald, later in the show. "This is the problem from somebody who claims that he's a journalist who would object to a journalist raising questions, which is not actually embracing any particular point of view," he said. He added that Greenwald's actions were "part of the debate."
Gregory's colleague Chuck Todd wondered aloud how much Greenwald was "involved" with Snowden. "Did he have a role beyond being a receiver for this information?" he said.
The conversation led to a wide debate on Twitter. Below, see some of the reactions: