Tucker Carlson addressed a report by Axios that confirmed his initial suspicions: he was quietly trying to arrange an interview with Vladimir Putin, and the NSA both unmasked his identity and leaked the contents of those emails to at least one media outlet. Carlson detailed the circumstances of the surveillance on Wednesday night.
Last week, Tucker Carlson revealed that the NSA had allegedly spied on his communications as part of another investigation. He became aware of this when a whistleblower contacted the show and let him know.
His team has been trying to get to the bottom of this ever since, and on Tuesday, the plot thickened. Whereas routine intelligence gathering would've labeled him generically as "American Journalist," the US intelligence sphere sought to specifically identify him.
Carlson called out the heads of intelligence agencies, including the current Director of National Intelligence, as being the ones with the power to sign off on unmasking him. In terms of political motive, the Fox News host pointed towards the Russian saber rattling methodology that was used to target General Flynn during the Trump administration.
Tucker's first guest at the top of his show was Glenn Greenwald. He further elaborated on the unaccountability of the military industrial complex and the intelligence community, pointing back to its formation in the aftermath of World War II.
Earlier today Tucker Carlson told Maria Bartiromo further details about the NSA spying in an interview on her morning show.
"I was in Washington for a funeral last week and ran into someone I knew well who said 'I have a message for you,' and then proceeded to repeat back to me details from emails and text that I sent and told no one else about. So it was verified and this person said, 'look, the NSA has this' and that was proven by the person repeating back the contents of the email, 'and is going to use it against you.'"
Tucker further charged the NSA of leaking emails and texts to journalists for reputational harm. He emphasized the severity by stressing the illegality of spying on American citizens. Backed by affirmations from two FBI agents, “The NSA routinely gives information on American citizens to the Justice Department- to the FBI, which it then uses in its intel division.”
The initial scoop by Axios was that Tucker Carlson of Fox News was talking to "Kremlin intermediaries about setting up an interview with Vladimir Putin" before Carlson’s revelation that the NSA was spying on him.
It was only last month, however, that NBC was granted a full-fledged discussion with the Russian President. Axios also acknowledges that fact and says Chris Wallace got an Emmy nomination in 2018 for his Putin interview.
Axios proposed two hypothetical scenarios:
- The US Government submitted a request to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Tucker Carlson directly.
- One of the people Tucker Carlson got in contact with was a foreign agent already under surveillance, and Carlson’s identity was unmasked by request of a US government official.
In response to the Axios story, Tucker Carlson said "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.”
The Fox News company themselves responded: "We support any of our hosts pursuing interviews and stories free of government interference."
Axios is keen on specifying that US officials knew about “Carlson’s efforts to secure the Putin interview” while refraining from going into the allegation of NSA targeting. The outlet outright acknowledges the NSA public statement’s denial about communications from Carlson being “swept up” by the intelligence firm.
Richard Grenell said he’d have released the unmaskers name, if this happened under his watch as former acting Director of the United States National Intelligence.
Tucker Carlson spent time last week reviewing the NSA’s mass surveillance program that was unleashed during the Obama White House.