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Glenn Greenwald clashed with Mika Brzezinski on air Monday when he accused her of using "White House talking points."
The Guardian columnist broke a bombshell story revealing the NSA's secret surveillance of the phone records of Verizon customers on Wednesday night. The next day, he raced the Washington Post to report on the NSA's PRISM program. The revelations have roiled the Obama administration.
On Monday, Greenwald appeared on "Morning Joe" to discuss the programs. He reiterated his point that the public should be made aware of government surveillance, and be able to decide if they want it.
Brzezinski then asked him to put the programs into "perspective." "Isn't it the case that reviewing of emails or any wiretapping cannot take place without an additional warrant from a judge and a review?" she asked. "I mean it's not like there's haphazard probing into all of our personal emails. Can we put this into context so we understand exactly what is going on?"
"Yeah, I'll put this into context for you," Greenwald responded. "The White House talking points that you're using are completely misleading and false." Their exchange comes about ten minutes into the segment in the clip above.
He said the law required individual warrants under when two people are in the United States and are both American citizens, but that the government could still probe the phone calls and emails of "all kinds of American citizens." "So those talking points that you're reading from are completely false as anybody whose paid even remote attention to the surveillance debate knows over the past 10 years," Greenwald continued.
Mika interrupted, "Uh no. Hey, Glenn, I'm not reading talking points. Glenn, I'd like to ask a question. Is this legal or illegal? Or Richard Haas, can you help me out here since Glenn doesn't want to answer the question? Is the law being broken here?"
"I did answer your question!" Greenwald shot back.