Last week the National Security Agency released a rare statement after Fox News host and journalist Tucker Carlson accused the government entity of spying on his communications and leaking them to the media. The NSA statement did not deny seeing the communications, was carefully worded and said Carlson wasn't the subject of any investigation.
"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 never had any plans to take his program off the air," the NSA released in a statement. "NSA has a foreign intelligence mission. We target foreign powers to generate insights on foreign actives that could hard 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."
A statement from NSA regarding recent allegations: pic.twitter.com/vduE6l6YWg— NSA/CSS (@NSAGov) June 30, 2021
When asked about the allegation, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki didn't give a specific denial.
"The NSA, as I think you’re well aware, I’m not sure everyone is aware, everyone on this plane is aware, I should say, is an entity that focuses on foreign threats and individuals who are trying, attempting to do us harm on foreign soil. So, that is their purview. But beyond that, I would point you to the intelligence community," Psaki said.
Many in the media and government have accused Carlson of lying about the situation, but it's now confirmed the agency did in fact see his communications.
An NSA spokesman declined to comment and referred Axios back to the agency's earlier, carefully-worded, statement. In other words, the NSA is denying the targeting of Carlson but is not denying that his communications may have been incidentally collected. https://t.co/puTyIEUTEi— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) July 7, 2021
Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell and attorneys paying attention to the situation have questions.
Who requested to unmask his name? It’s an easy answer for Avril Haines….there’s always a list of requesters kept. Always. https://t.co/vOnifGtdxG— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) July 7, 2021
WHO UNMASKED @TuckerCarlson and leaked his emails? There is a crime in this chain of events.— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) July 7, 2021