The Washington Post

Rep. Peter King: Punish journalists for leaks

The chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterintelligence and Terrorism says  that journalists who exposed controversial surveillance programs should be punished.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) told CNN late Tuesday that it's fair to punish both the leakers and those who publish the information.

"If they willingly knew that this was classified information, I think actions should be taken, especially something of this magnitude," King said. "I think, with something of this magnitude, there is an obligation -- both moral, but also legal -- against a reporter disclosing something which would so severely compromise national security."

King then responded directly to the question about punishing journalists: "The answer is yes, to your question."

King also called leaker Edward Snowden a "traitor," arguing that he violated the Espionage Act.

The news of the National Security Agency's phone record collection was broken by the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, and the so-called PRISM program was disclosed by Greenwald and the Washington Post's Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
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Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
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The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
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on CBS News, in South Carolina

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