National intelligence director: Snowden chose to ‘violate a sacred trust’

Updated
By msnbc staff
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee April 18, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (File photo by Win...
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee April 18, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (File photo by Win...
Win McNamee

NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell sat down with National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who vigorously defended the NSA’s surveillance programs in an exclusive interview over the weekend.

“The notion that we’re trolling through everyone’s emails and voyeuristically reading them, or listening to everyone’s phone calls is on its face absurd. We couldn’t do it even if we wanted to. And I assure you, we don’t want to,” Clapper told Mitchell.

Clapper talked about the leaker of the top-secret documents just 24 hours before 29-year-old Edward Snowden revealed himself. Clapper said it was ‘gut-wrenching to see these leaks happening” and said the leaker chose not to use legitimate outlets to air his concerns.

Watch Andrea Mitchell’s full interview with National Intelligence Director James Clapper below: 

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National intelligence director: Snowden chose to ‘violate a sacred trust’

Updated