Rep. Peter King (R-NY) on Wednesday elaborated on his call for journalists to be punished if they report on classified information, singling out The Guardian reporter at the center of the firestorm over top secret National Security Agency surveillance programs.
"I'm talking about Greenwald. Greenwald, not only did he disclose this information, he has said he has names of CIA agents and assets around the world and threatening to disclose that," King said. "The last time that was done in this country, we saw the CIA station chief murdered in Greece. No right is absolute and even the press has certain restrictions. I think it should be very targeted, very selective and certainly a very rare exception. But in this case, when you have someone who's disclosed secrets like this and threatens to release more, then to me, yes, there has to be, legal action should be taken against him. This is a very unusual case with life and death implications for Americans."
Greenwald later refuted King's claim that he had threatened to disclose the identities of CIA agents and assets:
In pushing back against those who have praised NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Greenwald, King also took on members of his own party who have expressed misgivings with the surveillance programs.
"Too many Republicans are becoming Michael Moores," King bristled in reference to the liberal filmmaker.
When Fox anchor Megyn Kelly asked if Greenwald should be prosecuted for what he has reported on already — and not what he has purportedly threatened to do — King said that the option should be "considered."
Greenwald wasted little time to fire back at King, taking to Twitter almost immediately after the interview to highlight the lawmaker's past support of the Irish Republican Army:
Only In America can a renowned and devoted terrorism supporter like Peter King be the arbiter of national security and treason.