Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who recently broke the National Security Agency surveillance scandal, accused “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski of reading White House talking points on the Monday broadcast of her program.
During the exchange that followed, Brzezinski denied she was using reading talking points.
Partial transcript of the exchange as follows:
BRZEZINSKI: This is an incredibly important question that affects all of us. We have to put it in perspective. I want to bring Richard Haass in but, quickly — I just want an answer, yes or no — 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? I mean, it’s not like there’s haphazard probing into all our personal emails. Can we put this into context so we understand exactly what is going on?
GREENWALD: Yeah, I’ll put it into context for you. The White House talking points you’re using are completely misleading and false. The whole point of what the Bush administration did when it disregarded and violated the FISA law and when the Congress on a bipartisan basis enacted a new surveillance law in 2008 was to enable the NSA to read emails between people in the United States and people outside of the United States without having first to go to a FISA court and get a warrant. The only time individual warrants are needed is when two people are both inside the United States and are both American citizens. But under that law, the U.S. government and the NSA have the power and exercise the power to listen in on telephone conversations and read emails involving all kinds of American citizens and the Senate has been repeatedly asking for the numbers of how many Americans they’re doing that to. And the NSA keeps saying –and it’s false — they can’t provide those numbers. So those talking points you’re reading from are completely false as anybody who has paid even remote attention —
BRZEZINSKI: Glenn, I’m not reading talking points. Glenn, I’d like to ask a question, is this legal or illegal? Or Richard Haass, can you help me out, since Glenn doesn’t want to answer the question. Is the law being broken here?
GREENWALD: I did answer your question —
BRZEZINSKI: I questioned the law. I question all the issues that this raises. I’m personally concerned as well. I’d like to put this in perspective. Is the law being broken?
Brzezinski has also been accused of reading White House talking points on-air by her fellow MSNBC host Ed Schultz.