The National Security Agency (NSA) responded Tuesday to explosive allegations that they are spying on Fox News host Tucker Carlson by claiming he was never the “target” of any NSA operations.
“On June 28, 2021, Tucker Carlson alleged that the National Security Agency has been ‘monitoring our electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air,’” the agency said in a statement. “This allegation is untrue. Tucker Carlson has never been an intelligence target of the Agency and the NSA has never had any plans to try to take his program off the air.”
“NSA has a foreign intelligence mission. We target foreign powers to generate insights on foreign activities that could harm the United States,” the statement added. “With limited exceptions (e.g. an emergency), NSA may not target a US citizen without a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to the allegations Tuesday by deflecting a reporter’s question.
“Well, the NSA, as I think you’re well aware — I’m not sure everyone is aware — everyone on this plane is aware, I should say — is an entity that focuses on foreign threats and individuals who are trying — attempting to do us harm on foreign soil,” Psaki responded. “So, that is the — their purview. But beyond that, I would point you to the intelligence community.”
Carlson made the allegation Monday night, claiming a source inside the agency contacted him and gave him information they could have only gotten if they were reading his text messages and emails.
“Yesterday we heard from a whistleblower within the U.S. government who reached out to warn us that the NSA, the National Security Agency, is monitoring our electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air,” Carlson said. “The whistleblower, who is in a position to know, repeated back to us information about a story that we are working on that could have only come directly from my texts and emails. There’s no other possible source for that information, period.”
“The NSA captured that information without our knowledge and did it for political reasons,” Carlson said. “The Biden administration is spying on us. We have confirmed that. This morning we filed a FOIA request — Freedom of Information Act request — asking for all information that the NSA and other agencies have gathered about this show. We did it mostly as a formality. We’ve also contacted the press office of both NSA and the FBI.”
“We don’t expect to hear much back,” he added. “That’s the way that usually goes. Only Congress can force transparency on the intelligence agencies and they should do that immediately. Spying on opposition journalists is incompatible with democracy. If they are doing it to us, and again they are definitely doing it to us, they are almost certainly doing it to others. This is scary and we need to stop it right away.”
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