Glenn Greenwald told CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday that receiving the Pulitzer Prize for public service was "really gratifying."
On Monday, Greenwald and other journalists at The Guardian and The Washington Post were awarded the Pulitzer for their reporting on the National Security Agency. The big question as the awards approached was whether the Pulitzer Prize committee would recognize their work, and they did just that.
On Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Greenwald told Stelter that he was having lunch with his phone on the table when the announcement came, and described his reaction.
"I think there was an expectation that the committee had to recognize the reporting in one way or another, and the question was going to be how," said Greenwald. "To learn that it was the public service award and that it was given to The Guardian and to The Washington Post for the work that we had done was really gratifying, because I think that is what the ideal was that we always tried to fulfill, which was doing the reporting in the public service."
Congressman Peter King, like other critics of Greenwald, reacted to the news less kindly, calling the win a "disgrace." When asked about King's condemnation of the award, Greenwald said it was "an enormous badge of honor." He compared it to the reactions of those who called for prosecuting Daniel Ellsberg and The New York Times for releasing the Pentagon Papers.
"That's just part of, I think, what journalism is, is if you want to be adversarial to those who wield power, you have to expect that those who wield power aren't gonna like what you're doing very much," Greenwald said. "And not only doesn't that bother me, I see that as a vindication that what I'm doing is the right thing."