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Snowden Sits Down With Brian Williams For NBC Interview

NBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed NSA leaker Edward Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald in Moscow this week.
Posted at 6:37 PM, May 22, 2014

Edward Snowden, the man behind the National Security Agency leaks, just sat down with NBC's Brian Williams for his first interview on American television.

NBC announced Thursday Williams' interview with Snowden would air during an hour-long primetime special next week. The segment will also include an interview with Glenn Greenwald, one of the journalists responsible for publishing the leaks.

Snowden has been hiding out in Moscow ever since his revelations about the NSA sparked a nationwide debate about government surveillance last year. The former NSA contractor has made several media appearances since fleeing the country, including a recent virtual talk at SXSW. (Via The Guardian)

But Snowden hasn't done an interview with an American broadcaster until now, and his status as an exile in Russia means access to Snowden is heavily guarded. So how'd NBC get the scoop?

The key might have been Greenwald, who has a close relationship with both Snowden and NBC. The journalist has done several interviews with NBC and has even produced a few pieces for the network on the NSA leaks. Greenwald has kept in close contact with Snowden since publishing the leaks; the two recently appeared together in a photo taken in Moscow. (Via Twitter / @the_intercept)

What's more, The Washington Post's Eric Wemple notes NBC has a "collaboration agreement" with Greenwald's current employer, First Look Media, which lets them both benefit from sharing big national security stories. 

"First Look and Greenwald harvest the heavy investment of a mainstream news outlet in the whole Snowden-based oeuvre. ... NBC News, for its part, gets documents and a legitimate reason to use the most illegitimate word in television: 'Exclusive.'"

The interview will air at 10 p.m. Eastern on May 28.