House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) demanded on Wednesday that an investigation be launched into explosive allegations that President Joe Biden’s administration has spied on Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
“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 on Monday. “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. The Biden administration is spying on us.”
McCarthy responded to the allegations by saying that he has noticed a “disturbing trend” unfolding at the National Security Agency (NSA) under the Biden administration.
“Earlier this year, I sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Austin expressing concern over the politicization of the Agency through the sidelining of Michael Ellis as NSA General Counsel. I asked that Mr. Ellis be reinstated and expressed my concern regarding undue political influence in NSA placing Mr. Ellis on administrative leave,” McCarthy said. “Separately, it has recently come to my attention that NSA has refused to deliver information requested by the Republican Members on the House Intelligence Committee who are trying to fulfill their oversight responsibilities.”
“Now, there is a public report that NSA read the emails of Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Although NSA publicly denied targeting Carlson, I have serious questions regarding this matter that must be answered,” McCarthy added. “Given this disturbing trend, I’ve asked HPSCI Ranking Member Devin Nunes to investigate and find answers on behalf of the American people. The NSA cannot be used as a political instrument, and House Republicans will ensure accountability and transparency.”
The NSA released a carefully crafted statement at the start of Carlson’s show on Tuesday disputing parts of what Carlson alleged.
The statement said:
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.” 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. With limited exceptions (e.g. an emergency), NSA may not target a US citizen without a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting.
Carlson responded to the NSA’s statement by saying that it was “an entire paragraph of lies written purely for the benefit of the intel community’s lackeys at CNN and MSNBC.” Carlson said that the NSA contacted him and refused to answer questions and refused to answer why they could not answer his questions.
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