MEDIA
12/26/2013 02:35 pm ET Updated Dec 26, 2013

Glenn Greenwald: I Defend Edward Snowden 'Like People On MSNBC Defend President Obama'

Glenn Greenwald's interview with MSNBC's Kristen Welker got testy on Thursday when he turned to the subject of the network's political leanings.

Greenwald — whom Edward Snowden approached with classified documents about the NSA's secret domestic surveillance programs — appeared on MSNBC via satellite to discuss what to expect next from his NSA reporting, and Snowden's Christmas message.

When Welker asked him to respond to critics who have called him a spokesperson for Snowden, Greenwald said the idea was "ludicrous" because "every journalist has an agenda."

"We're on MSNBC now, where close to 24 hours a day, the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Party is promoted, defended, glorified . . . that doesn't mean that the people who appear on MSNBC aren't journalists," he said. "They are."

He added that he has been "clear" about his support for Snowden's actions and that his reporting has been "accurate and reliable."

"I think the point is not so much about MSNBC and what happens here but more that sometimes when you talk about Edward Snowden, you do defend him, and some people wonder if that crosses a line," Welker responded.

"Sure, I do defend him just like people on MSNBC defend President Obama and his officials and Democratic party leaders 24 hours a day," Greenwald argued.

"Not everyone on MSNBC does that 24 hours a day," Welker interjected. "No, not everybody, but a lot of people on MSNBC do," Greenwald said.

Greenwald reiterated that he "absolutely" defends Snowden, and the two went on to discuss what lies ahead for Snowden, who currently has temporary asylum in Russia.

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