As we previously reported, Tucker Carlson claimed last night on his show that he’d found out the NSA was spying on him.
Now the NSA is only supposed to target foreign threats and foreign entities. So any spying targeting an American would not be legal, as Carlson noted. He claimed that a whistleblower tipped him off that the NSA was monitoring his communications and demonstrated proof of that with information that could only have come from his private communications.
“It’s illegal for the NSA to spy on American citizens, it’s a crime. It’s not a third-world country. Things like that should not happen in America,” Carlson said.
Naturally, it came up as a question with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki today.
“Tucker Carlson said that the NSA is spying on him. Is the administration aware of any espionage or listening efforts on US citizens by the NSA, and is Tucker Carlson one of them?” a reporter asked Psaki.
“Well, the NSA has, I think you are well aware, everyone’s aware, everyone on this plane is aware, I should say, is an entity that focuses on foreign threats and individuals who are attempting to do us harm on foreign soil,” Psaki replied. “So that is their purview, but beyond that I would point you to the intelligence community.”
In other words, the definition of what they’re supposed to do, but not a denial. Go talk to someone else, she’s not going to comment.
Tucker Carlson then responded to that tonight.
Tucker addresses Psaki's refusal to deny his claim the NSA is spying on him in order to "intimidate" his show and discusses his "very heated" phone call earlier today with top NSA officials in which they refused to say whether or not they read his personal communications: pic.twitter.com/BMiFzbg92t
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 30, 2021
He pointed out how in Psaki’s response there was no actual denial. In the NSA’s response that we reported on earlier, the NSA said Tucker wasn’t a “target” and they denied the specific allegation that they intended to leak the information to hurt his show. But saying he wasn’t a target doesn’t mean that they didn’t read his emails, Carlson said. They didn’t actually deny that. He shouldn’t be a “target” as an American citizen since their targets are supposed to be foreign. But that hasn’t prevented the NSA from looking at the communications of Americans in the past, despite the Americans not being the specific targets. “It is dangerous and it is wrong,” Carlson said. He said when they called the NSA again they refused to deny reading his emails.
Since the Obama administration’s spying and surveillance on reporters and the NSA scandal of that time, the unmasking scandal, and the FISA abuse and surveillance of the Trump team, allegations of spying are completely believable. Plus we’ve seen these word games in the past.
So, specific question — it’s really very simple: Did they monitor in any way for any reason any of the communications of Tucker Carlson. Yes or no?
Don’t know whether NSA is *specifically* spying on Carlson, but this statement is worthless. 1st, it denies a compound allegation re “monitoring” *and* taking show off air. 2nd, it says he’s not a “target,” which is a term of art. Real danger is so-called “incidental collection.” pic.twitter.com/xfKP5DGdML
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) June 30, 2021
Tucker isn’t the target—only incidental to the target.
The NSA doesn’t *currently* have plans to shut down his show.
The Tucker quote is two allegations, but NSA denies it as one, the motte and bailey technique.
✅ This statement is consistent with Tucker being monitored. https://t.co/jp9WFUVEhV
— Andrew Kloster (@ARKloster) June 30, 2021