U.S. intelligence agency says it isn't spying on Fox's Tucker Carlson

People pass by a promo of Fox News host Tucker Carlson on the News Corporation building in New York, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

WASHINGTON, June 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency on Tuesday denied allegations by Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the agency is spying on him in an attempt to force him off the air.

"This allegation 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 NSA said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Carlson, a conservative talk show commentator and strident critic of the Joe Biden administration, said on his show on Monday night that he "heard from a whistleblower within the U.S. government who reached out to warn us that the NSA, the National Security Agency, is monitoring our electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air."

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"The NSA captured that information without our knowledge and did it for political reasons. The Biden administration is spying on us. We have confirmed that," he said.

The NSA "has a foreign intelligence mission," the agency added on Twitter, and can not target a U.S. citizen without a court order except in limited exceptions.

Carlson said on his show on Tuesday that NSA's statement did not address the accusation that the agency was reading his emails.

Fox News had no comment.

In March, the Pentagon said Carlson "essentially demeaned the entire U.S. military" with a segment that decried increasing numbers of female service members. read more

In April, the Anti-Defamation League, an international organization that studies hate groups, called for Carlson's removal, saying he "parroted white supremacist and antisemitic conspiracy theories."

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Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Heather Timmons, Christopher Cushing and Edwina Gibbs

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