The White House knew ahead of time that British authorities were going to take David Miranda, the partner of Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, into custody at London's Heathrow Airport before it happened on Sunday.
"There was a heads up that was provided by the British government," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at a briefing Monday
He stressed, however, that it was "something that we had an indication was likely to occur, but it's not something that we requested."
The 28-year-old Miranda was reportedly held for nearly nine hours at Heathrow as he passed through the airport on his way home to Brazil after leaving Berlin, according to CNN
. A London Metropolitan Police spokesman said he was detained under Schedule 7 of Britain's Terrorism Act 2000.
The British authorities reportedly seized his laptop, phone, and other materials, apparently looking for information tied to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and stories written by Greenwald on the secret NSA data collection program revealed to him by Snowden.
In his White House briefing, Earnest would not comment on whether the U.S. had been given access to anything taken from Miranda.
"The kinds of classified, confidential conversations that are ongoing between the U.S. and our allies in Britain, I’m not able to characterize that for you," he told reporters.
The spokesman also declined to comment on whether President Barack Obama would condemn Miranda's detention.
Brazil's foreign ministry issued a statement Sunday expressing "grave concern" over the incident. "This measure is without justification since it involves an individual against whom there are no charges that can legitimate the use of that legislation."
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