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Tucker Carlson Was Reportedly In Talks To Interview Putin Around Time Of His NSA Allegations

The government agency maintains that it did not target the controversial Fox News host after Carlson accused it of going through his “electronic communications.”

Fox News personality Tucker Carlson speaks at the 2017 Business Insider Ignition: Future of Media conference in New York, NY on November 30, 2017. | Reuters
Fox News personality Tucker Carlson speaks at the 2017 Business Insider Ignition: Future of Media conference in New York, NY on November 30, 2017. | Reuters

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was reportedly pursuing an interview with Russian leader Vladamir Putin around the same time he alleged that the National Security Agency was spying on him.

According to an Axios report published Wednesday, the controversial host was supposedly in talks with Kremlin intermediaries to interview Putin. A Fox News spokesperson and Carlson all but confirmed in separate statements that he was indeed trying to secure the high-profile interview.

“We support any of our hosts pursuing interviews and stories free of government interference,” the spokesperson told Axios.

During an episode of his show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” last month, the host accused the NSA of spying on his “electronic communications” with the aim of booting his show off the air. Carlson said he was told by a whistleblower, who relayed information “that could have only come directly from [his] texts and emails.”

“The Biden Administration is spying on us,” the Fox News host proclaimed at the time.

The NSA released a statement following Carlson’s public allegation, denying that he was a target and “has never had any plans to try to take his program off the air.”

While the interview with the leader of a country that has had tension with the U.S. for years may seem like it would raise red flags, other journalists have in the past made contact with and interviewed Putin. But it’s unclear if Carlson’s communication with the Russian leader prompted any sort of surveillance.

Both Insider and Axios asked the NSA to comment on whether it was tapping into Carlson’s communications about the potential interview. In its response to Axios ,the agency pointed to its original statement:

“NSA has a foriegn intelligence mission,” the agency’s original statement continued. “We target foreign powers to generate insights on foreign activities that could harm the United States.”

The agency continued: “NSA may not target a US citizen without a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting.”

While Carlson went after the Biden administration for allegedly spying on him, CNN’s Oliver Darcy pointed out that multiple outlets published several stories about their reporters’ phone and email records being obtained by Trump’s Justice Department.

The Fox News host is known for spewing outrageous conspiracy theories and lies on his show, which attracts millions of viewers. Last month, Carlson alleged that the FBI was involved in organizing the January 6 insurrection. The theory, which first surfaced on a right-wing news site, says unindicted co-conspirators named in Capitol riot indictments are government agents. The claim, which was popular among far-right lawmakers like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), is based on a faulty understanding of legal terminology.

Carlson has since called the NSA’s denial of targeting him, “infuriatingly dishonest.”

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