Friday, June 14, 2024

Tucker Carlson Accuses NSA of Unmasking, Leaking Emails to Paint Him as ‘Kremlin Stooge’

'I figured that any kind of publicity would rattle the Russians and make the interview less likely to happen...'

Fox News host Tucker Carlson confirmed this week that he sought a sit-down interview with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The detail shed new light on his prior accusation that the National Security Agency had used this interview to spy on him, unmask his identity and illegally leak it to the media.

Axios reported on Wednesday that Carlson had reached out to “U.S.-based Kremlin intermediaries” about a potential Putin interview, which is not unusual or illegal at all.

The publication noted that this correspondence likely earned attention from the NSA, especially if Carlson’s correspondents were foreign agents.

But, as Axios’s Jonathan Swan said, the NSA would not have known Carlson was the one communicating with Russian persons unless they specifically requested to unmask him.

“In order to know that the texts and emails were Carlson’s, a U.S. government official would likely have to request his identity be unmasked, something that’s only permitted if the unmasking is necessary to understand the intelligence,” Swan explained. “It’s not clear why that would be necessary here.”

Carlson did not mention Swan’s reporting specifically but did confirm on Wednesday night that he had tried to interview Putin. He said no one else knew about this except for his executive producer, Justin Wells.

“I wasn’t embarrassed about trying to interview Putin,” Carlson said. “He’s obviously newsworthy. I’m an American citizen, I can interview anyone I want, and I plan to.”

Notwithstanding, he said he wanted to keep a low profile under the circumstances.

“I figured that any kind of publicity would rattle the Russians and make the interview less likely to happen,” he said. “But the Biden administration found out anyway by reading my emails.”

Carlson went on to claim that a “whistleblower” informed him that the NSA planned to leak his emails to the media in an effort to “paint me as a disloyal American, a Russian operative, a stooge of the Kremlin, a traitor doing the bidding of a foreign adversary.”

Swan’s report confirms the media was made aware of Carlson’s correspondence with Putin’s connections, as Carlson pointed out.

“That was the point they wanted to make,” Carlson added. “That’s why they planned to leak the contents of my emails to news organizations and yesterday, as noted, we learned they actually did it.”

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