Fox News Channel personality Tucker Carlson issued a bombshell allegation last week that the National Security Agency had been monitoring his private communications in an apparent effort to damage his reputation.
He reiterated that claim on Wednesday, and the claim appeared to be at least partially confirmed later in the day by another media outlet that reported on the contents of the host’s private communications.
“An effort to discredit me”
According to The Hill, Carlson claimed that the NSA had leaked his private emails and text messages to members of the media.
During an appearance on Fox Business Network this week, he revealed the latest wrinkle in the ongoing saga.
“Yesterday, I learned that — and this is going to come out soon — that the NSA leaked the contents of my emails to journalists in an effort to discredit me,” Carlson said. “I know because I got a call from one of them saying, ‘Oh, this is what your email was about.'”
He went on to describe his claim as “confirmed” and “true,” blasting the Biden administration for seeking “leverage” that it could use against “opposition journalists” like himself.
“It’s happening to me right now, and I think it’s shocking and I don’t think we should put up with it in a free country,” Carlson declared.
“The NSA read my emails”
Asked whether there might be another person or entity capable of obtaining his emails and sharing them with the media, he said that his executive producer was the only other person privy to the information.
“There is no possibility that anyone else could have known,” Carlson said. “And then again yesterday I get a call right before air, like 7:15, from a journalist I know and like — not many left, but I do like this person. He repeated back to me what’s in my email, he got it because the NSA leaked it, so, yes, entirely real.”
In a carefully worded statement, the NSA insisted after Carlson’s initial assertion that his “allegation is untrue” and stated that he “has never been an intelligence target” of the agency and there were no such plans to see his show taken off the air.
While most of the mainstream media ran with that statement as a justification for accusing Carlson of spreading a conspiracy theory, Jonathan Swan of Axios appeared to confirm the NSA leaks when he revealed that Carlson had been seeking an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Swan sought a response from Carlson, who replied: “As I’ve said repeatedly, because it’s true, the NSA read my emails, and then leaked their contents. That’s an outrage, as well as illegal.”