Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed Wednesday that the National Security Agency leaked to journalists the contents of his private correspondence.
Mr. Carlson made the assertion while appearing on Fox News’ sister channel more than a week since the conservative commentator first accused the NSA of illegally monitoring his electronic communications.
“I learned that — and this is going to come out soon — that the NSA leaked the contents of my email to journalists in an effort to discredit me,” Mr. Carlson told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo.
“I know because I got a call from one of them saying ‘Oh, this is what your email was about’,” added Mr. Carlson, host of the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” prime-time opinion program.
Mr. Carlson said he received the call Tuesday night shortly before his latest show aired. He did not identify the caller or provide any evidence the conversation occurred.
“I got a call before air, like 7:15, from a journalist I know and like – not many left – but I do like this person, and he repeated back to me what’s in my email,” Mr. Carlson continued.
“He got it because the NSA had leaked it,” said Mr. Carlson.
The NSA did not immediately respond to a message Wednesday seeking its reaction to Mr. Carlson‘s most recent accusation.
Mr. Carlson, 52, had said last week on his Fox News program that the NSA “is monitoring our electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air.”
“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,” the NSA said in a rare statement issued last Tuesday.
The NSA said last week that it “has a foreign intelligence mission” and that it “may not target a U.S. citizen without a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting.”
It is possible the NSA legally monitored some of Mr. Carlson‘s electronic communications if he was in contact with a foreigner under surveillance, however.
Mr. Carlson suggested the supposed illegal surveillance has something to do with his criticism of President Biden, meanwhile.
“So, it is not in any way a figment of my imagination,” Mr. Carlson maintained. “It’s confirmed, it’s true. They are not allowed to spy on American citizens — they are — and I think more ominously they are using information they gather to put leverage and to threaten opposition journalists, people who criticize the Biden administration. 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.”
• Andrew Blake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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