House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has responded to the claims that the National Security Agency (NSA) is spying on Fox News host Tucker Carlson by calling for an investigation into the agency, saying NSA cannot be used as a political instrument.
In an announcement issued on Wednesday, June 30, McCarthy said that he asked House Intelligence Committee’s Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) to investigate the NSA, an intelligence agency under the Department of Defense.
McCarthy said that he had seen a disturbing trend at the NSA for the past several months and sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin expressing concern over the politicization of the agency by sidelining of NSA general counsel Michael Ellis who former President Donald Trump appointed. The House Minority leader added that he had asked to reinstate Ellis and expressed his concern regarding undue political influence in NSA placing Ellis on administrative leave.
McCarthy also said that the NSA has refused to deliver the information requested by the Republican members on the House Intelligence Committee who are trying to fulfill their oversight responsibilities.
And now, when reports have emerged that NSA read the emails of Carlson, McCarthy said that he has “serious questions regarding this matter that must be answered” though NSA publicly denied targeting the Fox News host.
“Given this disturbing trend, I’ve asked HPSCI Ranking Member Devin Nunes to investigate and find answers on behalf of the American people,” McCarthy said.
“The NSA cannot be used as a political instrument, and House Republicans will ensure accountability and transparency,” the Republican lawmaker said.
During his prime-time show on Monday night, Carlson revealed that an insider inside the federal government called him to warn that the NSA is intercepting his emails and text messages to sabotage his show.
“Yesterday we heard from a whistleblower within the US government that 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.
“Now that’s a shocking claim, and ordinarily we’d be skeptical of it, it is illegal for the NSA to spy on American citizens, it’s a crime. This is not a third-world country, things like that should not happen in America. But unfortunately, they do happen, and in this case, they did happen,” Carlson added.
On Tuesday, the NSA denied the claims, saying this allegation that the agency was monitoring electronic communications to subsequently leak them was “untrue.”
“On June 28, 2021, Tucker Carlson alleged that the National Security Agency has been ‘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 take his program off the air,” the NSA said in a statement.
“NSA has a foreign intelligence mission. We target foreign powers to generate insights on foreign activities that could harm the United States. With limited exceptions (e.g. an emergency), NSA may not target a US citizen without court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting,” the agency said.
However, Carlson was not convinced by the NSA’s response. At his show on Tuesday night, he continued to question if the Biden administration read his personal emails, claiming that it has become much more apparent that a particular part of American citizens is being unlawfully treated by their own government.
“Now that the Biden administration has classified tens of millions of patriotic Americans, the kind that served in the military and fly flags in front of their homes, as potential domestic terrorists, white supremacist saboteurs, we’re going to see a whole lot more of this kind of thing,” he said.