The National Security Agency’s (NSA) internal watchdog announced Tuesday it is investigating allegations that the agency improperly unmasked Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson’s identity after an intelligence intercept.
“The National Security Agency Office of the Inspector General (OIG) announced that it is conducting a review related to recent allegations that the NSA improperly targeted the communications of a member of the U.S. news media,” NSA Inspector General Robert Storch said in a press release Tuesday.
The Wall Street Journal confirmed that the probe is focused on Carlson’s unmasking.
Carlson first accused the NSA of spying on him on June 28, saying a source from the federal government had repeated information about a story he was working on that could have only been gathered from his private texts and emails.
Axios later reported that Carlson was in communications with the Kremlin to set up an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin just before he accused the NSA of spying on him. The NSA responded to Carlson’s allegation in a June 29 statement, saying the Fox News host had ever been an “intelligence target” of the agency and that it never had any plans to take his show off the air.
However, a July 23 report by The Record revealed that the NSA did obtain information about Carlson’s activities after “unmasking” his name after intercepting communications between foreign third parties.
The names of American citizens mentioned in NSA intelligence reports are typically obscured and are only revealed, or unmasked, at the request of officials, provided they have a legitimate reason to do so.
“The NSA has just completed its internal review of the matter,” Fox News host Mark Steyn said on Carlson’s show following The Record’s report. “The NSA now admits that it unmasked Tucker’s identity after an intelligence intercept. By law, the identities of American citizens are concealed when they’re caught up during foreign intelligence gathering. They can only be unmasked in extraordinary circumstances.” (RELATED: NSA Reportedly Admits To Unmasking Tucker Carlson’s Identity)
The NSA now admits that it “unmasked” Tucker’s identity after an intelligence intercept. Plus: the tyrants at Facebook confirm that they have been censoring this show. pic.twitter.com/AeYbQzNWLI
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) July 24, 2021
Fox News said Tuesday it was gratified that the NSA’s surveillance of Carlson will be investigated.
“We are gratified to learn the NSA’s egregious surveillance of Tucker Carlson will now be independently investigated,” a Fox News spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “As we have said, for the NSA to unmask Tucker Carlson or any journalist attempting to secure a newsworthy interview is entirely unacceptable and raises serious questions about their activities as well as their original denial, which was wildly misleading.”
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