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John Oliver Grills Edward Snowden on ‘Last Week Tonight’

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is no stranger to the press. He’s appeared in dozens of interviews with major media outlets as well as an Oscar nominated documentary called Citizen Four.

But HBO funnyman John Oliver provided what is no doubt the toughest interview yet for Snowden. Granted there was plenty of light banter, such as if the NSA can intercept your “dick picks”, but there were a number of sharp, pointed questions on whether Snowden’s mass disclosure of documents was well-warranted whistleblowing or reckless behavior.

John Oliver – Edward Snowden interview


“How many of those documents have you actually read?” Oliver asked.

“I’ve evaluated all the documents that are in the archive,” Snowden responded.

Pressed he elaborated further: “I do understand what I turned over.”

But for Oliver that wasn’t good enough.

“There’s a difference between understanding what’s in the documents and reading what’s in the documents. Because when you’re handing over thousands of NSA documents the last thing you’d want to do is read them,” Oliver said. “So The New York Times took a slide, didn’t redact it properly, and in the end it was possible for people to see that something was being used in Mosul on al Qaeda.”

“That is a problem,” Snowden replied.

“Well, that’s a fuckup,” said Oliver.

The interview is hard hitting and well worth the watch. Check it out in the video embedded above.