Tucker Carlson started the week by making the bombshell allegation that he and his staff had been the “target” of ongoing surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA). Now, Fox News reports that the host is supporting demands from a pair of House Republicans for a formal investigation into the claims — and calling out President Joe Biden for letting it happen.
According to The Hill, Carlson first charged on his own self-titled Fox program Monday that a whistleblower had “warned us that the NSA was reading our electronic communications, our emails and texts, and was planning to leak them selectively in an effort to hurt us.”
“Functionally an admission”
Soon after Carlson raised his claims, the NSA released a statement saying any allegation that the agency has been “monitoring” Carlson’s team “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 NSA said Tuesday.
But it wasn’t convincing enough for conservatives like Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who argued at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday that the agency’s statement was “so couched it is functionally an admission.”
“And it’s not like the NSA has never lied to us,” Gaetz added, according to Fox. “We were told that there was no collection of American data: Turns out, there were collection of America data,” he said, calling for a thorough investigation into Carlson’s allegations.
“A political instrument”
According to The Hill, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) also called Wednesday for an investigation, saying there are “serious questions regarding this matter that must be answered.”
The Republican leader reportedly tasked Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, to spearhead such a probe.
“The NSA cannot be used as a political instrument, and House Republicans will ensure accountability and transparency,” McCarthy said.
“It never is justified”
As supporters continue to line up behind him, the Fox host charged on his latest show that the NSA is “spying on a lot of people; it should stop.”
“It never is justified except in cases when national security is threatened,” Carlson said Wednesday, according to Fox. “Liberals used to understand that,” he added.
“Joe Biden is in charge of the national security apparatus, and his administration has it turned on Americans, who he has redefined as combatants domestic terrorists, and white supremacists. Where does this go from here?” Carlson went on to ask, referring to recently announced efforts by the Justice Department to root out what it calls “domestic extremists,” a term the Fox host took to refer to supporters of former President Donald Trump. “We think we know,” he said, “and we are deeply concerned about it.”