Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was not intentionally spied on by the National Security Agency, according to two sources cited by cybersecurity publication The Record. Carlson was reportedly trying to secure an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin through intermediaries at the time—and he later made the wild accusation that the NSA was spying on him in an attempt to bring down his TV show. But his name was unintentionally found through collections of foreign communications, sources told The Record. U.S. intel officials saw an American citizen mentioned in talks between foreign officials, later “unmasking” the name to gain a better understanding of the conversation. The NSA does not know the name of those they unmask before they do, nor do they reveal the names in any finalized reports in order to protect their privacy.
Fox News blasted the NSA’s findings nonetheless. “For the NSA to unmask Tucker Carlson or any journalist attempting to secure a newsworthy interview is entirely unacceptable and raises serious questions about their activities as well as their original denial, which was wildly misleading,” a spokesperson told The Record.