Kentucky Senator Rand Paul sent a letter to the National Security Agency demanding an investigation into allegations by Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the agency is spying on him. In a letter to NSA Director Gen Paul Nakasone, Paul stated any leaks of Carlson’s “private emails from the NSA to other reporters” should also be probed.
“Mr. Carlson is a journalist, who currently hosts the popular news program Tucker Carlson Tonight, and as such he is to be afforded the freedom of the press protections guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution” Paul’s letter stated.
“As you are undoubtedly aware, Mr. Carlson recently alleged on his television show that the NSA not only read his private emails relating to his attempt to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin, but also that the NSA unmasked his identity and leaked his private emails, which identified him by name, to others in the press” the letter continued.
The NSA denied spying on Carlson in a vague response: “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 statement said.
The statement went on in its denial: “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 a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting.”
Senator Paul alluded to the NSA’s history of abuses, but said he is “open-minded” that the agency could be telling the truth. “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,” the letter said.