After being outed as a hypocrite who hated Trump “passionately” in private while singing his praises on air in his Fox show, Tucker Carlson loves Donald Trump again—or so he says.
Among the legal documents released earlier this month as part of the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems, was a text transcript from Jan. 4, 2021, in which Carlson said he despised Trump. “We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights,” Carlson texted. “I truly can’t wait.”
“I hate him passionately,” he added–an unequivocal statement that now he is trying to walk back.
On Tuesday Carlson was asked about the messages during an appearance on 77WABC’s “Bo Snerdley’s Rush Hour”.
In what must have come as a surprise to anyone who had followed the story, Carlson doubled down and went back to his public persona as he stated, “I spent four years defending his policies, and I am going to defend them again tonight.”
“And actually, and I’m pretty straightforward, I love Trump, like as a person. I think Trump is funny and insightful,” he added.
Then he revealed that Trump had called him when the news broke about his true feelings for the bombastic former president; and he was “all wounded about those texts,” Carlson continued. As he tells the story now, the Fox host explained to him that he had been caught at a bad moment and the words did not reflect his true feelings. “That was a moment in time where I was absolutely infuriated. … And those were all grabbed completely illegitimately in my opinion in this court case, which I guess I’m not allowed to talk about.”
It’s hard to determine which of these two Carlsons we should believe: According to him, he doesn’t actually hate Trump, and does believe his election lies. He claimed he was just angry with the former president because he felt “humiliated” by one of Trump’s campaign staffers who fed him the names of “dead voters who had voted” ― which he repeated on air ― some of whom turned out to be alive.
This lame defense is meant to ingratiate himself once again with Trump, but according to sources, it is also necessary to rebut the central claim of the Dominion lawsuit ― that the conservative network’s hosts gave airtime to Trump’s 2020 election conspiracies despite knowing them to be false.
Carlson’s excuse fails to be convincing since that was not the only instance when he expressed dislike or downright hatred of the then-president. Other private messages about Trump repeated his beliefs that Trump had legitimately lost the election. On Jan. 6, 2021, for example, Carlson texted his producer calling Trump a “demonic force” and “a destroyer” after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. And on Nov. 17, 2020, he said Trump attorney Sidney Powell was a “fucking bitch” who was lying.
Carlson’s sycophantic response to Trump’s wounded feelings does not account for the extraordinary candor in his private messages, and evidently Trump would rather believe the lame excuse of the host’s pretended love than the stronger evidence of his genuine hatred.
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