Republican Senator Rand Paul is demanding answers from the National Security Agency after it was revealed communications belonging to Fox News host and journalist Tucker Carlson were in fact seen by intelligence officials.
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
“I write to demand that you investigate the National Security Agency's (NSA) alleged spying and unmasking of Tucker Carlson, as well as any leaks of his private emails from the NSA to other reporters. Mr. Carlson is a journalist, who currently hosts the popular news program Tucker Carlson Tonight, and as such he is to be afforded the freedom of the press protections guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. As you are undoubtedly aware, Mr. Carlson recently alleged on his television show that the NSA not only read his private emails relating to his attempt to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin, but also that the NSA unmasked his identity and leaked his private emails, which identified him by name, to others in the press," Paul wrote in a letter to NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone. “I am open-minded enough to believe, if given convincing evidence, that the NSA may be telling the truth, but when a long train of abuses conducted by the NSA evinces a consistent design to evade the law and violate the constitutionally-protected liberties of the people, the NSA must do more than tweet a carefully worded denial to be trusted."
"As the head of the NSA, you can help restore credibility to your agency by being completely honest with the American people and explaining in detail whether the NSA conducted surveillance on Tucker Carlson in his role as a journalist, whether you or anyone else within the federal government approved his alleged unmasking, and whether Mr. Carlson’s private emails were shared with any other reporters or news organizations,” he continued.
Meanwhile, the NSA is standing by its initial denial Carlson was ever a target of an investigation but not denying a review of his communications.
A statement from NSA regarding recent allegations: pic.twitter.com/vduE6l6YWg— NSA/CSS (@NSAGov) June 30, 2021