Update (2130ET): Tucker Carlson responded to today's 'unmasking' - namely an Axios report which accuses him of trying to set up an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I'm an American citizen, I can interview whoever I want - and plan to," said the Fox News host.
Presented without further comment, along with Carlson's sit-down with journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the Edward Snowden revelations about domestic spying and other illicit activities conducted by the US government.
Tucker Carlson Demanding Answers To Who In The Intelligence Community "Unmasked" Him— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) July 8, 2021
Tucker Calls On NSA Director Paul M. Nakasone & The Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines To Reveal Who Did It 4/ pic.twitter.com/c7O5owPCk6
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Update (1935ET): The first Tucker Carlson leak, ostensibly from the NSA, has gone to none other than Axios, which reports that the Fox News host was simply surveilled because he was trying to arrange for an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin through an intermediary.
"Those sources said U.S. government officials learned about Carlson's efforts to secure the Putin interview. Carlson learned that the government was aware of his outreach — and that's the basis of his extraordinary accusation, followed by a rare public denial by the NSA that he had been targeted."
... (15 paragraphs later)
The NSA's public statement didn't directly deny that any Carlson communications had been swept up by the agency. -Axios
And of course this is the first leak - which 'justifies' surveilling a member of the American press. What's more, we're guessing that Fox lawyers have already pored over all of Carlson's emails and text messages, and concluded that there's no 'there' there, or they wouldn't have allowed him at 15-minute segment on Fox Business this morning to upstage the leak.
Ohhhh ok. We’ve now left “denial” phase and shifted to, “of course he was spied on, HE’S A RUSSIAN ASSET” phase. https://t.co/LyxIJaSXCb— Nick (@NickAtNight128) July 7, 2021
Now the hunt is on for exactly who unmasked Carlson. Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec - whose DC sources are usually never wrong - thinks he knows:
4) Emails that had been scheduled to leak, leak 5) Tucker makes claim journalist told him the leak came from NSA, something no one will ever confirm 6) Tucker leaks about Putin contact self confirming the NSA angle.— The Reckoning 💥 (@sethjlevy) July 7, 2021
It’s all so Machiavellian and kinda brilliant
Reminder to all the blue check clowns that think there’s something nefarious about Tucker trying to interview Putin: NBC just interviewed Putin a few weeks ago. Where were you then? https://t.co/OM8HLwYux4— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) July 7, 2021
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Last week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in a bombshell broadcast that an NSA whistleblower had approached him with evidence that the National Security Agency has been spying on his communications, with the intent to leak his emails to the press and 'take this show off the air.'
Today, Carlson told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that the emails have in fact been leaked to journalists - at least one of whom has contacted him for what we presume is an upcoming article on their contents.
"I was in Washington for a funeral last week and ran into someone I know well, who said 'I have a message for you,' and then proceeded to repeat back to me details from emails and texts that I sent, and had told no one else about. So it was verified. And the person said 'the NSA has this,' and that was proven by the person reading back the contents of the email, 'and they're going to use it against you.'
To be blunt with you, it was something I would have never said in public if it was wrong, or illegal, or immoral. They don't actually have anything on me, but they do have my emails. So I knew they were spying on me, and again, to be totally blunt with you - as a defensive move, I thought 'I better say this out loud.'"
"Then, yesterday, I learned that - and this is going to come out soon - that the NSA leaked the contents of my email to journalists in an effort to discredit me. I know, because I got a call from one of them who said 'this is what your email was about.'
So, it is not in any way a figment of my imagination. It's confirmed. It's true. They aren't allowed to spy on American citizens - they are. I think more ominously, they're using the information they gather to put leverage and to threaten opposition journalists, people who criticize the Biden administration. It's happening to me right now..."
"This is the stuff of banana republics and third-world countries," replied Bartiromo.