Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed Wednesday that he learned the National Security Agency (NSA) has not only allegedly spied on his private correspondence, but also leaked it to reporters in an attempt to undermine him.
Carlson alleged last week that he received information from a source inside the NSA that could only have been obtained by someone reading his text messages and emails.
— Maria Bartiromo (@MariaBartiromo) July 7, 2021
Speaking with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria,” Carlson said, “Yesterday I learned, that — and this is going to come out soon — that NSA, leaked the contents of my e-mail to journalists in an effort to discredit me. I know because I got a call from one saying, ‘Oh, this is what your e-mail was about.'”
“So, it is not in any way a figment of my imagination,” Carlson continued. “It’s confirmed, it’s true. They are not allowed to spy on American citizens. They are. I think, more ominously, they are using information they gather to put leverage and to threaten opposition journalists, people who criticize the Biden administration. It’s happening to me right now. And I think it’s shocking, and I don’t think we should put up with it in a free country.”
“It’s worse than shocking,” Bartiromo responded. “It’s the stuff of banana republics and Third World countries.”
“Tucker, there is no other one who saw these emails? And this whistleblower relayed to you exactly what was in your communication? There is no way anybody else could have seen those emails?” she then asked.
“There was one other person who knew I sent that email, and it was my executive producer Justin Wells,” Carlson, answered. “That’s it, and I didn’t mention it to anybody else, including my wife. There is no possibility that anyone else could have known then again yesterday I got the call before air, like 7:15, from a journalist I know and like — not many left, but do I like this person — he repeated [it] back to me. He got it because the NSA leaked it. So, yes, it’s entirely real.”
Carlson later went on to note how few journalists have defended him against the NSA. Acknowledging he is “out-of-step” with most Beltway journalists, whom he described as “defenders of the Biden administration” who “see themselves as Democratic Party operatives,” Carlson was still perplexed that they seemingly did not find his allegations alarming.
“This is a massive threat not simply to me and my show…but to journalism itself, to the idea of a free press,” he said. “You can’t have a free press if the intel agencies are secretly spying on you and then using that information to threaten you and to control you.”
“This is a huge problem for the country,” Carlson continued. “And yet, outside of Glenn Greenwald, I don’t think there was anybody who stood up and said, ‘Wait, this is a huge problem for all of us.’ Instead, they made excuses for the NSA.”
“We agree with you,” Bartiromo said. “This is wrong. It must be stopped. And the politicizing of all these government agencies is out of control — from the NSA, the Department of Defense, to the IRS.”
The NSA issued a carefully worded statement in response to Carlson’s allegations last week, which he described as “infuriatingly dishonest.”
“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. “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 continued. “With limited exceptions (e.g. an emergency), NSA may not target a US citizen without a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting.”
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