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NBC News Scores Exclusive Interview With Edward Snowden, Plans Primetime Special

NBC News said it would air an hour-long primetime special on May 28 featuring an exclusive interview between “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams  and former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The talk will be Snowden’s first interview with an American television outlet, the NBCUniversal news unit said.

The special is slated to air Wednesday, May 28, at 10 p.m. Eastern.

NBC News said Williams traveled to Moscow this week after anchoring Monday’s “NBC Nightly News” to conduct the discussion with Snowden, who has remained in exile in Russia after disclosing in 2013 multiple NSA documents making plain the existence of various global surveillance program.  The interview took place over several hours and included Glenn Greenwald, one of the journalists to whom Snowden showed the classified papers.

While Snowden has made presentations via Skype or email – in March, he spoke via broadband-video connection  to an assemblage at Austin’s South by Southwest Festvial – he has rarely agreed to speak to a journalist who can ask for added detail or present other facts

Scoring exclusive interviews with hard-to-reach people burnishes the reputations of TV-news outlets and gives them reason to go out and attempt to score better ratings and audience. In September, Charlie Rose, the “CBS This Morning” anchor, was able to nab an interview with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and CBS touted the accomplishment with segments on “Face The Nation,” “CBS This Morning” and “The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.”

NBC News intends to check facts and give various parties mentioned by Snowden the chance to respond before airing the interview Wednesday, the spokesperson said.

After traveling 11,000 miles over 72 hours, Williams is now slated to make a journey of another kind. He is visiting Nashville, Tenn., where he committed months ago to speak to students at Hillwood High School for their graduation., He will anchor Thursday’s “Nightly” broadcast from the city, the spokesperson said.

(Updated at 11:45 PM PT to include new information from NBC News)

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