The National Security Agency denied Fox News star Tucker Carlson’s shocking accusation that the intelligence agency had been monitoring his communications in an effort to take down his show, declaring the accusation “untrue” in a rare statement on Tuesday night.
During his primetime program on Monday evening, Carlson dropped the bombshell claim, citing a so-called government whistleblower that supposedly provided him with definitive proof that the Biden administration was spying on him.
“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,” he exclaimed. “There’s no other possible source for that information. Period. They did it for political reasons. The Biden administration is spying on us. We have confirmed that.”
Claiming he had filed a Freedom of Information Act request, the Fox News star also called on Congress to act on his behalf immediately Monday night, adding that “this is scary and we need to stop it right away.”
After Fox News offered no statement on Carlson’s remarks and the network did not cover his allegations throughout the day on Tuesday (outside of an anonymous online write-up of Carlson's Monday night segment), the NSA issued a statement on Tuesday night denying the conservative host’s accusations.
“This allegation is untrue,” the statement read. “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,” the agency, which almost never publicly comments on these types of issues, continued. “We target foreign powers to generate insights on foreign activities that could harm the United States. With limited exceptions (e.g. an emergency), the NSA may not target a US citizen without a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting.”
Carlson immediately reacted on his show Tuesday night, as the statement came out right as his program hit the air. And he, predictably, doubled down.
After first saying the Biden administration “did not deny the story” when White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday afternoon that the NSA’s “purview” is to “focus on foreign threats and individuals,” Carlson then blasted the NSA for its statement of denial.
“Then minutes before air tonight, they sent us an infuriatingly dishonest formal statement—an entire paragraph of lies written purely for the benefit of the intel community’s lackeys at CNN and MSNBC, all those people they hire,” he huffed. “They also tweeted it out a few minutes ago.”
“Now last night on the show, we made a very straightforward claim. NSA has read my private emails without my permission. Period,” Carlson added. “That is what we said. So that statement tonight from the NSA does not deny that. Instead, it comes with this, in part ‘Tucker Carlson has never been an intelligence target of the agency.’ Okay, glad to know but the question remains, did the Biden administration read my personal email?”
He would go on and claim that he had a “very heated” 20-minute discussion with NSA officials in which they refused to say directly whether or not the agency has read his emails or texts, eventually claiming that the experience was “Orwellian” and like “living in China.”
As for the network’s response to the NSA’s denial that they are spying on Carlson to take his show off the air, a Fox News spokesperson pointed the Daily Beast to Carlson addressing the situation on the air.