James Risen: Obama Is 'Greatest Enemy To Press Freedom In A Generation'

08/17/2014 01:01 pm ET | Updated Aug 18, 2014

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter James Risen is not mincing words about President Barack Obama.

Risen has been fighting the Obama administration's efforts to get him to testify about his sources for six years. The Department of Justice has ordered him to testify against former CIA agent Jeffrey Sterling, who it believes leaked information about a failed CIA operation in Iran that Risen reported on in his book. Risen recently lost his bid to have the Supreme Court revisit his case.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd spoke to Risen for her Sunday column "Where’s the Justice at Justice?"

"How can he [Obama] use the Espionage Act to throw reporters and whistle-blowers in jail even as he defends the intelligence operatives who 'tortured some folks,' and coddles his C.I.A. chief, John Brennan, who spied on the Senate and then lied to the senators he spied on about it?" Dowd wrote.

Risen had one word to describe Obama's actions: "hypocritical."

"A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin," he told Dowd. "They don’t want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistle-blowers. But he does. He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation."

CONVERSATIONS