Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Ric Grenell called Saturday for actions to be taken against the person who allegedly unmasked Fox News host Tucker Carlson to the National Security Agency (NSA) after Carlson sought an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Washington Times.
Grenell made the comments during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas noting that his experience as DNI director gave him insight into what occurred.
“There is a process,” Grenell said. “Somebody asked who this U.S. person was. And they went through the process of unmasking, and then somebody came in and said to this person … it’s Tucker Carlson from Fox News. That should have never been shared with anybody.”
If the unmasking did occur, Grenell urged, there should be federal consequences because doing unmasking and leaking information to the media is illegal under federal law.
“There are two violations”
“There are two violations there,” Mr. Grenell said. “And somebody should lose their security clearance, and possibly be prosecuted.”
Carlson asked during his show Wednesday for the DNI and NSA to release information on the person who unmasked him.
“By law, I should have been identified internally merely as a U.S. journalist, American journalist. That’s the law,” Carlson said. “But, that’s not how I was identified. I was identified by name. I was unmasked. People in the building learned who I was.”
Carlson said earlier in the week that he knew the government was spying on him because officials approached him with knowledge of information that was never shared anywhere but in his private emails.
The NSA denies that it had ever spied on Carlson, however.
“This allegation is untrue,” the agency said in a statement. “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.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) have called for a congressional investigation into whether the NSA or DNI did spy on Carlson and on where the leak of information came from.
Given the outrageous and illegal behavior of government surveillance agencies toward candidate and former President Donald Trump, it is not difficult to believe that government forces wouldn’t try the same thing again on another person they consider a threat, like top-rated conservative TV host Carlson.