The National Security Agency (NSA) is keeping it blunt with Fox New host Tucker Carlson, who’s been accusing the agency of spying on him in a conspiracy to get him kicked off the air.
In a highly unusual move, the NSA on Tuesday night released a public statement directly telling Carlson by name that “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 to take his program off the air,” the agency said. “NSA has a foreign intelligence mission. 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.”
Carlson doubled down on his accusation shortly afterward on his program, saying the NSA’s statement “an entire paragraph of lies written purely for the benefit of the intel community’s lackeys at CNN and MSNBC.”
“We made a very straightforward claim: NSA has read my private emails without my permission,” the Fox News host said. “Tonight’s statement from the NSA does not deny that and instead it comes with this non sequitur: Tucker Carlson has never been an intel target.”
But as CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter points out, Carlson’s own network hasn’t backed his claims, which the Fox News host says came from a “whistleblower” at the NSA.