Rep. John Lewis
John Lewis

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, has spent more time discussing his views on the Edward Snowden case than he intended when he first sat down for an interview with The Guardian, a British newspaper.

The Guardian first broke the story about the U.S. National Security Agency’s collection of phone records from millions of cell phone users. The newspaper also revealed Snowden the source of their exclusive. Snowden has since been granted asylum in Russia.

Lewis has given numerous interviews ahead of the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, where King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Lewis was at the March on Washington and spoke during the event.

Initially, the Guardian’s story made it appear as though Lewis was equating Snowden’s actions with those of Mahatma Gandhi, whose philosophy of non-violence inspired King.

Lewis has since issued statements condemning Snowden’s actions and clarifying his earlier remarks. The Guardian changed a headline at Lewis’ request., website of The Poynter Institute, wrote a lengthy article about Lewis’ remarks and his attempts to set the record straight.

Lewis’ spokeswoman, Brenda Jones, told Poynter that the interview is an example of why she avoids scheduling interviews with the British press.

“To be frank with you,” she told Poynter, “one of the reasons I steer away from the British press is there are a lot of subtleties in many of these issues that get lost in translation.”

To read the full article, along with a detailed transcript of the Guardian’s Q&A with Lewis, click here.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of