Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) sent a letter to the National Security Agency demanding an investigation into alleged spying on Tucker Carlson.
The Fox News anchor announced recently that the NSA had tracked his private correspondences and leaked them to reporters. The agency stated that 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.”
In his letter to NSA Director Paul Nakasone, the lawmaker noted that the NSA’s statement was no more than a carefully-worded denial:
I am open-minded enough to believe, if given convincing evidence, that the NSA may be telling the truth, but when a long train of abuses conducted by the NSA evinces a consistent design to evade the law and violate the constitutionally-protected liberties of the people, the NSA must do more than tweet a carefully worded denial to be trusted. As the head of the NSA, you can help restore credibility to your agency by being completely honest with the American people and explaining in detail whether the NSA conducted surveillance on Tucker Carlson in his role as a journalist, whether you or anyone else within the federal government approved his alleged unmasking, and whether Mr. Carlson’s private emails were shared with any other reporters or news organizations.
Sources familiar with the matter told Axios that Carlson was speaking to Kremlin intermediaries about a potential interview with Vladimir Putin shortly before he announced the NSA’s surveillance.
According to the outlet:
Those sources said U.S. government officials learned about Carlson’s efforts to secure the Putin interview. Carlson learned that the government was aware of his outreach — and that’s the basis of his extraordinary accusation, followed by a rare public denial by the NSA that he had been targeted.
“Yesterday, we learned that sources in the so-called intelligence community told at least one reporter in Washington what was in those emails, my emails,” Carlson said of the allegations last week during his prime time program. “There was nothing scandalous in there, thank God, we’re happy to report that. Late this spring, I contacted a couple of people I thought could help get us an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
“I told nobody I was doing this other than my executive producer, Justin Wells,” he continued. “I wasn’t embarrassed about trying to interview Putin. He’s obviously newsworthy. I’m an American citizen, I can interview anyone I want and I plan to. But still, in this case, I decided to keep it quiet. I figured that any kind of publicity would rattle the Russians and make the interview less likely to happen.”
”But the Biden administration found out anyway, by reading my emails. I learned from a whistleblower that the NSA planned to leak the contents of those emails to media outlets,” he added.
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