Fox News host Tucker Carlson made an explosive claim during his Monday show, claiming that the National Security Agency (NSA) is monitoring his emails and texts as part of a plan to leak damaging information with the ultimate goal of having his program booted off the air.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked directly about Carlson’s claim Tuesday, but in typical fashion, she dodged the question and delivered a response that neither confirmed nor denied the incredible allegations, The Daily Wire reported.
Carlson: The NSA is spying on me
Monday night, citing information obtained via a whistleblower, Carlson asserted that the NSA was “monitoring our electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air.”
He believed this to be true because the “whistleblower, who is in a position to know, repeated back to us information about a story that we are working on that could have only come directly from my texts and emails. There’s no other possible source for that information, period.”
Carlson revealed that he had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding the collected information and had made similar inquiries with the FBI and NSA, though he expressed doubt that he’ll ever hear anything back from the federal agencies.
Psaki dodges the question
Tuesday, during a press gaggle aboard Air Force One, Psaki was asked about Carlson’s allegation and danced around the issue without confirming or, perhaps, more importantly, explicitly denying that agencies within the Biden administration were spying on an outspoken opponent of the president.
“Well, the NSA, as I think you’re well aware — I’m not sure everyone is aware — everyone on this plane is aware, I should say — is an entity that focuses on foreign threats and individuals who are trying — attempting to do us harm on foreign soil,” Psaki replied.
She added, “So, that is the — their purview. But beyond that, I would point you to the intelligence community.”
Administration “does not deny” basis of allegations
Interestingly, Fox News reported that the NSA released a statement in response to Carlson’s claim, though, it too, seemed to sidestep the allegation with a carefully worded, if still vague, statement that, similar to Psaki’s response, didn’t explicitly deny the base accusation that it was monitoring the Fox News host’s communications.
Claiming that the allegation was “untrue,” the NSA said, “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.”
“NSA has a foreign intelligence mission. We target foreign powers to generate insights on foreign activities that could harm the United States,” the agency added. “With limited exceptions (e.g. an emergency), NSA may not target a US citizen without a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting.”
During his Tuesday night program, Carlson referenced the statements from the NSA and Psaki and described the entire thing as being beyond “Orwellian,” and said of the NSA statement, “Last night on this show we made a very straightforward claim: NSA has read my private emails without my permission. Period. Tonight’s statement does not deny that.”