Former White House adviser and Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod responded to the NSA leak on Monday, revealing what he found to be "peculiar" about whistleblower Edward Snowden's course of action.
Appearing on "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell," Axelrod stressed that while the exchange of sensitive information is "a concern," there were other paths that Snowden could have taken.
“My question is of Mr. Snowden is he could have gone to the Congress,” Axelrod said. “He could have gone to the Inspector General. This is a peculiar route he took. I mean, he's a whistleblower who then blew the country."
Axelrod added that the Obama administration has made a significant effort to add safeguards, headed by briefings of Congress. HuffPost's Sam Stein reported Monday that the Obama administration held 22 briefings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act, the law that has been cited as justification for the NSA's collection of phone records.
From the media side of the discussion, The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald argued on Sunday's edition of ABC's "This Week" in favor of the free press.
"Every single time any major media outlet reports on something that the government is hiding, that political officials don't want people to know, such as the fact that they are collecting the phone records of all Americans, regardless of any suspicion of wrongdoing, the people in power do exactly the same thing," Greenwald said. "They attack the media as the messenger and they are trying to discredit the story."