The White House said Monday that it was not involved in the British government’s decision to detain the partner of Glenn Greenwald at Heathrow Airport over the weekend.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the detainment of David Miranda, who lives with Greenwald in Brazil, was “a law enforcement action that was taken by the British government.”
“The United States was not involved in that decision or that action,” said Earnest, who acknowledged the British government did inform the United States that the detention was likely to occur.
“There was a heads up that was provided by the British government,” Earnest said.
The White House spokesman said that he was unaware of any conversations Miranda had with British authorities.
Earnest said that he could not “provide any insight” into whether the U.S. would be briefed on information gleaned during Miranda’s detention, and refused to comment more broadly about whether the White House was concerned by his detention.
“This is a decision they made on their own,” Earnest said.
Earnest did not rule out that the U.S. had obtained information from Miranda’s electronic devices.
Miranda was held for nearly nine hours, and had electronic equipment, including his cellphone, laptop, camera and memory sticks, confiscated by British authorities.
On Sunday, Greenwald, the journalist who revealed top-secret National Security Agency surveillance programs, called the detainment of Miranda “a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process.”0