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NSA denies Tucker Carlson is ‘intelligence target’ but won’t say if they read his emails

Tucker Carlson at a 2018 speech for Turning Point USA. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
June 30, 2021

On Tuesday night, the National Security Agency (NSA) publicly responded to allegations raised by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who alleged they had gathered his electronic communications and were planning to leak them in a way to get his show taken off the air.

The NSA tweeted a two-paragraph statement responding to Carlson’s allegations. “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 and take his program off the air.”

“NSA has a foreign intelligence mission,” the statement continued. “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.”

In his initial allegation, Carlson said a government official had come to him directly about the alleged surveillance and “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.”

Carlson reiterated his claim about his contacts with a government whistleblower on his show Tuesday night.

“Whistleblower to Tucker: You’re being monitored,” Carlson tweeted along with a video segment from his Tuesday show.

On his Tuesday show, Carlson revealed that he spoke directly with U.S. Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, who Carlson described as the “highly political, left-wing four-star general who runs the NSA.”

Carlson said the NSA receptionist refused to put Carlson and his team through to Nakasone.

“Then, just minutes before air tonight, the NSA sent as an infuriatingly dishonest formal statement,” Carlson said, referring to the NSA’s denial that Carlson has even been an NSA intelligence target.

“Last night on the show we made a very straightforward claim, ‘NSA has read my private emails without my permission,’ period, that’s what we said,” Carlson said. “Tonight’s statement from the NSA does not deny that. Instead it comes with this nonsequitur, ‘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? That’s the question that we asked directly to NSA officials when we spoke to them about 20 minutes ago in a very heated conversation.”

Carlson said the NSA refused to say directly whether or not the agency had read his emails. “And then they refused even to explain why they couldn’t answer this simple question, ‘we can’t tell you and we won’t tell you why we can tell you.'”