House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has requested the highest Republican on the House Intelligence Committee to probe Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s allegations that the National Security Agency is spying on him.
McCarthy (R-Calif.) made the announcement Wednesday, during which he additionally bemoaned a “disturbing trend” he mentioned he had seen “[f]or the past several months” on the NSA.
The top-ranking House Republican started by referencing a letter he despatched Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin relating to his issues about “the politicization of the Agency through the sidelining of Michael Ellis as NSA General Counsel.”
McCarthy mentioned he requested Ellis, a Trump appointee serving because the company’s prime lawyer till his current ouster, be reinstated.
The House minority chief then accused the intelligence company of refusing to cooperate with the GOP.
“It has recently come to my attention that NSA has refused to deliver information requested by the Republican Members on the House Intelligence Committee who are trying to fulfill their oversight responsibilities,” McCarthy’s assertion learn.
“Now, there is a public report that NSA read the emails of Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Although NSA publicly denied targeting Carlson, I have serious questions regarding this matter that must be answered,” he continued.
“Given this disturbing trend, I’ve asked HPSCI Ranking Member Devin Nunes to investigate and find answers on behalf of the American people. The NSA cannot be used as a political instrument, and House Republicans will ensure accountability and transparency.”
On his Monday present, the Fox News host accused the Biden administration of surveilling his personal communications in an effort to get his present yanked from the air.
Carlson alleged he had been contacted by a whistleblower who had data that got here from his texts and emails relating to a narrative his workforce was engaged on.
“It’s not just political protests that the government is spying on,” Carlson mentioned.
“Yesterday, we heard from a whistleblower within the US government who reached out to warn us that the NSA, the National Security Agency, is monitoring our electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air.”
Carlson admitted that it was “a shocking claim,” which he mentioned he would usually be “skeptical” of as a result of “it’s illegal for the NSA to spy on American citizens.”
“It’s a crime. It’s not a Third World country. Things like that should not happen in America,” the host decried.
“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,” Carlson revealed.
“There’s no other possible source for that information. Period. They did it for political reasons. The Biden administration is spying on us. We have confirmed that.”
In response, Carlson mentioned, he had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all data gathered by the feds on him and his present.
“We don’t expect to hear much back. That’s the way that usually goes. Only Congress can force transparency on the intelligence agencies and they should do that immediately,” he mentioned.
“Spying on opposition journalists is incompatible with democracy. They are doing it to us and again, they are definitely doing it to us, they are almost certainly doing it to others. This is scary and we need to stop it right away.”
Reached for remark by The Post earlier this week, an NSA spokesperson denied the allegations.
“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 spokesperson mentioned.
“With limited exceptions (e.g. an emergency), NSA may not target a US citizen without a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting.”