TUCKER Carlson claimed he was trying to arrange an interview with Vladimir Putin when he alleged the National Security Agency wanted to “make him look like a Russian stooge by leaking his emails”.
Tucker’s remarks come just a week after he first made the accusation – an allegation that the NSA vehemently denies.
The Fox News host told viewers on Wednesday that he had tried to arrange an interview with Putin.
He said: “Trying to secure an interview with a world leader is routine journalistic practice and should not have raised alarm.
“I wasn’t embarrassed about trying to interview Putin. He’s obviously newsworthy. I’m an American citizen, I can interview anyone I want and I plan to.”
Tucker claimed that a whistle-blower allegedly told him that the NSA “planned to leak the contents of the emails to media outlets”, Mail Online reports.
He said: “Why would they do that? Well, the point, of course, was to paint me as a disloyal American, a Russian operative. I’ve been called that before.
“A stooge of the Kremlin, a traitor doing the bidding of a foreign adversary.”
The interview with Putin never took place.
It comes just days after Tucker claimed the agency did not deny reading his emails after the NSA said officials could target Americans in “emergency situations”.
He told viewers on June 30: “A couple of days ago we told you that the National Security Agency had read our emails and was effectively threatening us with them – leaking them.
"It's not just this show. They are spying on people and they should stop because it's illegal.
“We had a long conversation with the National Security Agency. We got a statement out of them. They effectively conceded 'Yes we read your emails'.
"They had some justification for it but it’s not justified. It never is except when national security is threatened and nothing we did would ever threaten national security. Period."
The NSA vehemently denied the accusations and insisted they didn’t have any plans to take Tucker off the air.
In a statement, the agency said: “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."
The statement was in response to allegations Tucker made on his show on June 28.
The anchor claimed that the Biden administration was "spying" on him in an attempt to oust him from the airwaves.
He also alleged that his team had "confirmed" the spying with an NSA whistleblower, branding the revelation "scary."
Carlson insisted he'd normally be "skeptical" of such a "shocking claim," as it's a "crime" and because the US "isn't a third world country."
But he said he had no doubts that the information shared by the alleged whistleblower was true.
Carlson claimed to have filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding all information that the NSA and other government agencies have gathered on him and his show.
He called on lawmakers in Congress to intervene – adding "spying on opposition journalists is incompatible with democracy".
Tucker warned: "They are doing it to us and again, they are definitely doing it to us, they are almost certainly doing it to others. This is scary and we need to stop it right away.”
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