White House asked Washington Post to edit NSA official's quotes

The Washington Post | The Huffington Post

NSA Director of Compliance John DeLong "answered questions freely in a 90-minute interview" with reporter Barton Gellman.

Two days later, White House and NSA spokesmen said that none of DeLong’s comments could be quoted on the record and sent instead a prepared statement in his name. The Post declines to accept the substitute language as quotations from DeLong.

Gellman's piece reports the NSA broke rules about intelligence collection "thousands of times each year," according to an audit. That information was provided to Gellman by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Snowden sent The Huffington Post a statement Thursday saying his father's legal team doesn't speak for him: "I ask journalists to understand that they do not possess any special knowledge regarding my situation or future plans, and not to exploit the tragic vacuum of my father's emotional compromise for the sake of tabloid news," Snowden writes.

Huffington Post reporter Michael Calderone tells Poynter in an email that Snowden's message was addressed to him. He declined to say whether it was encrypted.

The American Civil Liberties Union verified the email, Calderone writes. ACLU attorney Ben Wizner "is involved in coordinating Mr. Snowden's legal defense in the U.S.," Lukas I. Alpert reported in The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

Related: Peter Maass: ‘Everyone needs to use encryption a lot more’ | 6 ways journalists can keep their reporting materials private & off the record

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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