On Monday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said he had learned through a source within the U.S. government that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been surveilling his personal communications and that the agency is planning to leak those communications in an effort to get his show off the air.
“Yesterday we heard from a whistleblower within the U.S. government who reached out to warn us that the NSA . . . is monitoring our electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air,” Carlson said on his show Monday night.
“Now that’s a shocking claim and ordinarily we’d be skeptical of,” Carlson continued. “It is illegal for the NSA to spy on American citizens, it’s a crime. It’s not a third world country, things like that should not happen in America, but unfortunately do happen and in this case they did happen.”
Carlson said that while he had reason to initially be skeptical of the claim, his government source “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 went on to say that the NSA acted as it did “for political reasons.”
“The Biden administration is spying on us,” Tucker added. “We have confirmed that.”
Carlson said he had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all information gathered by the NSA on him and his show but he said, “We don’t expect to hear much back. That’s the way that usually goes.”
The NSA did not immediately respond to an American Military News request for comment on this matter.
Carlson’s allegations come just days after the Fox host openly criticized Army Gen. Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, regarding his support for having the military provide training and instruction based on controversial critical race theory teachings.
Carlson has been a frequent critic of President Joe Biden and his administration as well.
“Spying on opposition journalists is incompatible with democracy,” Carlson said Monday. “They are doing it to us and again, they are definitely doing it to us, they are almost certainly doing it to others. This is scary and we need to stop it right away.”
Carlson is not the first journalist to raise concerns about being targeted for surveillance by the U.S. government. In May, CNN and the Washington Post reported they had been notified by the Department of Justice (DOJ) under Biden, that the Trump-era DOJ had secretly subpoenaed their communications relating to investigations of government leaks. DOJ spokesman Marc Raimondi said the targets of the Trump-era investigations were “not the news media recipients but rather those with access to the national defense information who provided it to the media and thus failed to protect it as lawfully required.”
In 2006, the DOJ under then-President George W. Bush, reportedly began surveilling New York Times reporter James Risen’s calls and emails. That surveillance continued under President Barack Obama and Risen was eventually subpoenaed to testify against Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer charged with leaking details about an operation to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program.
In 2013, the Guardian reported the Obama-era FBI also secretly sought and obtained all of Fox News reporter James Rosen’s correspondence with State Department security adviser Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, as part of another leak investigation. In this case, Rosen was also labeled a “criminal co-conspirator” with the Obama DOJ saying Rosen was “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.”
Also in 2013, reporter Sharyl Attkisson alleged her computer had been compromised and filed a lawsuit in 2015 alleging the Obama-era DOJ illegally spied on her. Her 2015 lawsuit was eventually dismissed, though Attkisson revived the claim in a January 2020 legal complaint.