Tucker Carlson’s recent claims that his communications have been spied on and leaked by the National Security Agency (NSA) have prompted Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to demand an investigation into the federal agency.
Carlson demanded on July 7 that NSA Director Gen. Paul M. Nakasone disclose who asked for the unmasking of Carlson’s identity during NSA spying. Carlson stated that government officials read his private emails and revealed his communications and uniqueness to the media.
Axios reported earlier on July 7 that Carlson was communicating with persons inside the U.S. with alleged ties to the Russian government. Carlson was claimed to be interested in setting up an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sen. Paul got involved on July 9 by sending a letter to Director Nakasone asking for an agency investigation into the claimed spying, unmasking, and leaks, stating:
“I am open-minded enough to believe if given convincing evidence, that the NSA may be telling the truth, but when a long train of abuses conducted by the NSA evinces a consistent design to evade the law and violate the constitutionally-protected liberties of the people, the NSA must do more than tweet a carefully worded denial to be trusted. As the head of the NSA, you can help restore credibility to your agency by being completely honest with the American people and explaining in detail whether the NSA conducted surveillance on Tucker Carlson in his role as a journalist, whether you or anyone else within the federal government approved his alleged unmasking, and whether Mr. Carlson’s private emails were shared with any other reporters or news organizations.”
Sen. Paul asked direct questions of the NSA, including whether Carlson was an intelligence target or if his emails had been captured due to other surveillance. He also demanded to know if the agency followed the protections of personal identities as required by law.
Finally, Paul asked for the person who requested any unmasking of Carlson’s identity and for the details of any media leaks of Carlson’s identity or the contents of his communications.
In addition to Sen. Paul’s letter, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has asked the Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee to investigate Carlson’s allegations.
The NSA made a public statement on June 29, making a denial of Carlson’s allegations. However, the message was equivocal as to whether Carlson’s emails had been seen and collected.