Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt expressed his disapproval over the seizure of organization’s phone records by the Department of Justice on Sunday.
In his first television interview after the controversy, Gary Pruitt highlighted the fact that that the controversial and unacceptable move taken by the Obama administration had already had a chilling effect on journalism. He appeared on CBS program “Face The Nation” and put forward his concerns during the conversation with Bob Schieffer.
“And if they restrict that apparatus ... the people of the United States will only know what the government wants them to know and that's not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment.”
He also added in that he didn’t object to their right to have access to information but the way it was done, was very wrong.
“They've been secretive, they've been overbroad and abusive – so much so that taken together, they are unconstitutional because they violate our First Amendment rights.”
According to Pruitt, the government was seeking to obtain records to a news story regarding the administration’s plans for false terrorist threats to the United States.
“So that was misleading to the American public. We felt the American public needed to know this story.”
During the first week of May, it was revealed by AP that the U.S. Department of Justice ‘secretively’ obtained phone records of writers and editors of the organization. Journalists across the U.S. condemned the government’s move to snoop on the news agency and stealing confidential information.
You can watch Pruitt’s claims in the video above.