Tucker Carlson claimed on his Fox News show that he was illegally “unmasked” by the National Security Agency (NSA) and that the NSA took the contents of his emails and spread them to “at least one reporter in Washington what was in those emails.”
Carlson said, “By law, I should have been identified internally merely as a U.S. journalist or American journalist.” He said, “But that’s not how I was identified. I was identified by name. I was unmasked.”
Whistleblower to Tucker: You're being monitored pic.twitter.com/BLTn9iKaQx
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) June 30, 2021
U.S. Senator Rand Paul agrees that it’s time to investigate Tucker Carlson’s claims that he was illegally “unmasked” by the NSA.
The NSA must do more than tweet a carefully worded denial to be trusted. https://t.co/SVRkK1NrUN
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 12, 2021
In a letter to the head of the NSA, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, Sen. Paul writes, “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.”
Sen. Paul goes on to acknowledge that while he is “open-minded enough to believe” that the NSA “may be telling the truth” that the NSA didn’t illegally unmask Tucker Carlson, he won’t go as far as taking their word. He wants an investigation.
Sen. Paul said, “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.”
It was quickly assumed that the reporter that Carlson failed to name was Axios’ Jonathan Swan. Swan broke the narrative that the emails that the NSA illegally gathered from Carlson’s account were concerning Tucker wanting to have a sit-down interview with Vladimir Putin. He used the proper “US-based Kremlin intermediaries” to attempt to schedule it.
Tucker all but confirmed that it was Swan later on by announcing, “Late this spring, I contacted a couple of people I thought could help us get an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. I told nobody I was doing this other than my executive producer, Justin Wells.”
“I wasn’t embarrassed about trying to interview Putin. He’s obviously newsworthy,” Tucker said. “I am an American citizen, I can interview anyone I want, and I plan to. But still, in this case, I decided to keep it quiet.” He said he “figured that any kind of publicity would rattle the Russians and make the interview less likely to happen.”
“But the Biden administration found out anyway by reading my emails,” Tucker proclaimed.
Tucker Carlson claims that the NSA illegally spied on him, and he found out through a “whistleblower” that the plan was to “paint [him] as a disloyal American, a Russian operative, a stooge of the Kremlin, a traitor doing the bidding of a foreign adversary.”
Tucker remarked that the NSA took his name and the contents of his emails and allowed them to be leaked. He said, “People in the building learned who I was, and then my name and the contents of my emails left that building at the NSA and would up with a news organization in Washington D.C.”
“That is illegal,” he said. “In fact, it is precisely what this law was designed to prevent in the first place. We cannot have intelligence agencies used as instruments of political control.”
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