A National Security Agency review of its intercepts did not find any evidence that Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s communications were intercepted by the NSA, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
Carlson had claimed that the agency was spying on him and planned to leak his communications to take him off air.
One of the sources said that Carlson’s name was picked up in third-party communications and his identity was unmasked, meaning others mentioned him in their communications. In the NSA foreign intelligence reports, the names of Americans are redacted, or “masked.” Certain authorized US officials have the authority to request the names of those individuals if they have a justifiable reason.
The Record first reported this story.
The NSA declined to comment on Saturday. Last month, when the accusations were made, the NSA tweeted a statement indicating the Fox host’s claim “is untrue.”
“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.
“For the NSA to unmask Tucker Carlson or any journalist attempting to secure a newsworthy interview is entirely unacceptable and raises serious questions about their activities as well as their original denial, which was wildly misleading,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.
Katie Bo Williams and Oliver Darcy contributed to this story.