Former NSA chief to be John Oliver’s first guest


The former head of the National Security Agency (NSA) will be the first guest on comedian John Oliver's new HBO show "Last Week Tonight."

The interview will be Gen. Keith Alexander’s first since he stepped down from the embattled spy agency in March, months after leaks from former contractor Edward Snowden detailed the extent of its snooping programs.


Privacy activists and civil liberties advocates in Congress have been harshly critical of the NSA, and Alexander became a divisive figure as the agency’s leader for nearly nine years.

Alexander, who also led the U.S. Cyber Command, has defended the NSA's operations and been sharply critical of Snowden. The leaks, he has said, have damaged U.S. national security and put Americans in danger.

Vice Adm. Mike Rogers, a longtime cryptologist, has been nominated to succeed Alexander. The role of NSA director does not need Senate confirmation, however Rogers is currently awaiting approval to lead the U.S. Cyber Command.

Oliver, an alumnus of "The Daily Show," has been making the rounds on morning and evening talk shows to promote the new program in recent weeks.

The half-hour "Last Week Tonight" debuts Sunday evening.