The US National Security Agency (NSA) has denied an outlandish claim from Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Carlson during his show on Monday night claimed that he had learned through a whistleblower that the NSA is spying on him and planned to leak his communications, in a bid to take him off the air.
But the US intelligence agency publicly stated Carlson’s allegation was “untrue” and that it specialises in monitoring foreign organisations and individuals, and not American ones.
The NSA is America’s answer to the UK’s GCHQ, which is responsible for intelligence gathering and eavesdropping for the United Kingdom.
It hit the headlines in 2013 when whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the its telephone meta program, known as Prism.
Snowden revealed that the NSA could examine and mine all the ‘meta data’ of telephone communications, i.e. the telephone numbers of both parties on a call, as well as location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls.
And now Tucker Carlson is convinced the NSA is up to its old tricks again.
“The Biden administration is spying on us,” Carlson was quoted as saying by CNN as saying Fox’s viewers. “We have confirmed that.”
Carlson not only alleged that the NSA was spying on him, but that it was conspiring to take him off of the air and engaging in the conduct for “political reasons.”
None of his fellow reporters at Fox News repeated any of his claims.
But Carlson stood by his claim during his broadcast Tuesday night. He also indicated he tried calling the NSA director directly, but couldn’t get through.
The NSA meanwhile took the unusual step to deny Carlson’s allegations.
“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,” the NSA tweeted.
The agency added that it is has a foreign intelligence mission, and that it “may not target US citizens without a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting.”
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