House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy demanded on Wednesday that an investigation be launched into explosive allegations that President Joe Biden’s administration has been spying on Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
“Yesterday we heard from a whistleblower within the U.S. 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 said on Monday.
“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. … The NSA captured that information without our knowledge, and did it for political reasons. The Biden administration is spying on us.”
McCarthy responded to the allegations by saying that he has noticed a “disturbing trend” unfolding at the National Security Agency (NSA) under the Biden administration.
“Earlier this year, I sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Austin expressing concern over the politicization of the Agency through the sidelining of Michael Ellis as NSA General Counsel. I asked that Mr. Ellis be reinstated and expressed my concern regarding undue political influence in NSA placing Mr. Ellis on administrative leave,” McCarthy said.
“Separately, 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.”
“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,” McCarthy added.
“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.”
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz separately called for an independent inspector general investigation into the allegations.
Gaetz spoke during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, saying, “Join me in calling for an inspector general investigation into any monitoring that the NSA or any other element of the intelligence community has engaged in, relative to Tucker Carlson,” Gaetz said to Democratic Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York.
Gaetz noted that he has condemned the reported seizure of records from Democratic members of Congress, aides, and reporters, calling for even outrage across the aisle: “If Democrats don’t do this, if you’re only outraged when your members and your staff and the press that’s close to you and that amplifies your messages is targeted, then we never are going to solve anything.”
The NSA released a statement on Tuesday denying the politicized spying on Carlson.
“This allegation is untrue,” the NSA statement 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.”
Gaetz called the statement “so couched, it is functionally an admission.”
“What’s interesting is there is no denial that they were monitoring Tucker Carlson, even if he wasn’t the target,” Gaetz said. “There’s probably somebody in Tucker Carlson’s orbit that the NSA was monitoring.”
Author: Laurence Santorin