Kevin McCarthy Calls for Investigation of NSA After Tucker Carlson Says He's Being Spied On

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called for an investigation into the National Security Agency (NSA) on Wednesday after Fox News host Tucker Carlson alleged that it was spying on him.

The Republican congressman from California said in a statement that he sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin earlier this year to complain about "politicization" at the NSA due to President Joe Biden's administration sidelining lawyer Michael Ellis, who was installed at the agency during the last few days of former President Donald Trump's administration.

Carlson alleged that he was being personally targeted by the NSA as part of an effort to take his Fox News opinion program off the air on Monday. The NSA denied the allegation on Tuesday. McCarthy said that he was enlisting California Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to investigate the agency.

"For the past several months, I have seen a disturbing trend at the National Security Agency," McCarthy said in a statement. "Now, there is a public report that NSA read the emails of Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Although NSA publicly denied targeting Carlson, I have serious questions regarding this matter that must be answered."

"Given this disturbing trend, I've asked HPSCI Ranking Member Devin Nunes to investigate and find answers on behalf of the American people," added McCarthy. "The NSA cannot be used as a political instrument, and House Republicans will ensure accountability and transparency."

kevin mccarthy tucker carlson nsa spying
Kevin McCarthy has called for an investigation into the NSA after Tucker Carlson says the organization is spying on him. The NSA has denied the claims. Win McNamee/Getty

McCarthy also said that the NSA had "refused to deliver information requested" by GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee.

During Monday night's edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson alleged that a "whistleblower" had informed him that "the Biden administration is spying" on his show, supposedly using the NSA to capture information "that could only come directly" from his own emails and texts. He said that the agency was "planning to leak" the communications "in an attempt to take this show off the air."

"This allegation is untrue," the NSA responded in a statement on Tuesday. "Tucker Carlson has never been an intelligence target of the agency and the NSA has never had any plans to try and take his program off the air."

"We target foreign powers to generate insights on foreign activities that could harm the United States," the statement continued. "With limited exceptions (e.g. an emergency), NSA may not target a U.S. citizen without a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting."

Carlson responded during his show the same night, insisting that the NSA statement "does not deny" his allegations while calling it a "paragraph of lies written purely for the benefit of the intel community's lackeys at CNN and MSNBC, people they hire with the titles on the screen."

Aside from Carlson's own remarks, Fox News had not offered extensive coverage of the allegation as of Wednesday afternoon. In addition, neither the network nor its top executives, such as CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace, had released any statements on the allegation.

Newsweek reached out to Fox News for comment.