House Judiciary Committee ranking Republican Rep. Jim Jordan joined fellow GOP lawmakers Thursday in calling for the National Security Agency‘s inspector general to investigate claims by Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the NSA monitored his electronic communications.
Mr. Jordan, of Ohio, signed a letter along with House Oversight Committee ranking Republican Rep. James Comer of Kentucky and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, formally requesting that the IG investigate the claims and report its findings to the committee.
“Mr. Carlson’s disclosures about the NSA’s actions are serious and the NSA’s elusive response demands further inquiry,” the letter states.
Mr. Carlson claimed on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Monday that a whistleblower informed him that the NSA had been monitoring his communications and planned to leak them to “silence” him.
The NSA refuted the claim on Tuesday, stating on Twitter that Mr. 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.”
Mr. Carlson said the NSA’s response was elusive, claiming the agency did not concretely deny monitoring his communications in its statement.
Mr. Gaetz raised the matter in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, claiming that the NSA’s response to the allegation was “functionally an admission.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, on Wednesday directed Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to look into the agency, which he said had recently exhibited a “disturbing trend” of “undue political influence.”
“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,” Mr. McCarthy said in a statement.
The lawmakers’ letter is the first formal request for an investigation.