Nightly News | June 05, 2013
>>> now to an nbc news exclusive tonight. the attorney general of the united states , eric holder , under fire on several fronts and fighting off calls for his resignation. he broke his silence today and agreed to an interview with our justice correspondent pete williams .
>> reporter: after enduring weeks of criticism over the government's aggressive investigation of leaks, the attorney general says a better balance must be struck between press freedom and safeguarding national secrets.
>> i'm a little concerned that things have gotten a little out of whack. i think we can do a better job than we have. we can reform those regulations, reform those guidelines to;u better reflect the balance.
>> reporter: the justice department obtained logs for more than 20 phone lines used by associated press reporters to find the source for a story about al qaeda terror plotters in yemen. the government obtained e-mail and phone records from james rosen calling him in court documents at the very least either an aider, abetter or coconspirator. holder said that phrase was required to get a search warrant.
>> i don't like that. me as a governmen t it meansw official who has great respect for the press is in e essence saying a reporter doing his or her job and doing that important job is somehow branded a criminal. i'm just not comfortable with that. we're going to change that.
>> reporter: another possible change, giving the news media the chance to fight a request for records in court before they are turned over.
>> we'll come up with ways in which notification can be given to the media and possibly involve on a more consistent basis judges as third party ash tors.
>> reporter: as for calls he stepped down he said not yet.
>> there are things i want to do. things i want to get done that i hav%ja discussed with the president. once i have finished that, i will sit down with him and we'll determine when it is time to make a transition to a new attorney general.
>> reporter: to be clear you are not stepping down now.
>> i have no intention of doing so now.
>> reporter: as for the leaks he said that's not the result of a policy decision but is a?w ?q?tjjuuz deman ds from the intelligence community and congress to crack down. brian?
>> pete williams at the justice department following his exclusive interview with the attorney general today.