Trump ignores Tucker Carlson’s texts saying he ‘passionately hates’ him in Jan 6 rant

Former president says members of January 6 House Select Committee ‘should be tried for Fraud and Treason’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Wednesday 08 March 2023 16:39 GMT
Related video: Anderson Cooper says Tucker Carlson would have ‘wet his pants’ at January 6 riot

Donald Trump avoided addressing the revelation that Fox News host Tucker Carlson once wrote that he “passionately” hates the former president as he praised Mr Carlson over his misleading coverage of the insurrection on January 6, 2021.

“GREAT JOB BY TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT,” Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social on Tuesday night. “The Unselect Committee of political Hacks & Thugs has been totally discredited. They knowingly refused to show the Videos that mattered. They should be tried for Fraud and Treason, and those imprisoned and being persecuted should be exonerated and released, NOW!”

Mr Carlson used his primetime programme on Monday and Tuesday to cherry-pick momentarily peaceful parts of the Capitol riot from the more than 40,000 hours of surveillance footage handed to him by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

It was an attempt to falsely portray the violent siege on Congress as mostly “peaceful chaos”. Mr Trump has praised Mr Carlson for the inaccurate broadcasts.

New messages revealed in a $1.6bn defamation lawsuit against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems show that Mr Calrson texted a Fox News staffer only two days before the attempt to overthrow democracy: “We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights.”

“I truly can’t wait,” he added. “I hate him passionately.”

Despite slamming Mr Trump and his repeated lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him in private conversations, Mr Carlson has continued to push the baseless voter fraud narrative on his Fox News programme.

The lawsuit has also revealed that Mr Carlson has called Mr Trump “a demonic force, a destroyer,” and that Trump allies spreading the conspiracies about the election were “offensive”.

“It’s unbelievably offensive to me,” Mr Carlson said at one point. “Our viewers are good people and they believe it.”

Media mogul and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch appeared to be concerned that hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham may have been going too far in their coverage.

“Maybe Sean and Laura went too far. All very well for Sean to tell you he was in despair about Trump, but what did he tell his viewers?” the chair of Fox Corp wrote to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott in a 21 January 2021 email, according to the filings.

Court documents have also shown that Mr Murdoch admitted that hosts such as Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, Mr Hannity, and Jeanine Pirro had “endorsed at times this false notion of a stolen election”.

“I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight,” he said during a deposition.

The former Washington managing editor at Fox News, Bill Sammon, texted a co-worker, “in my 22 years affiliated with Fox, this is the closest thing I’ve seen to an existential crisis – at least journalistically,” according to legal filings connected to the lawsuit.

Chris Stirewalt, the former Fox News political editor, told Mr Sammon: “What I see us doing is losing the silent majority of viewers as we chase the nuts off a cliff.”

On Tuesday night, Mr Carlson came out swinging against members of both the Republican and Democratic parties who had criticised him after his Monday night broadcast.

“We should also tell you that Chuck Schumer, Senate majority leader, was joined in this outrage by the Senate minority leader and that would be a Republican, Mitch McConnell. And they were joined by a cascade of other Republicans, Thom Tillis from North Carolina. Mitt Romney from Utah, all sharing the same outrage. And from this, we learn two things. One, you’re getting close to what they really care about. And you have to ask yourself why? Why is it so important that they would degrade themselves by telling such obvious lies and calling for censorship?” he claimed.

“The second thing we learned from this is that they’re on the same side ... so it’s actually not about left and right. It’s not about Republican and Democrat. Here you have people with shared interests. The open borders people ... the people like Mitch McConnell who are living in splendour on Chinese money. The people that underneath it all have everything in common are all aligned against everyone else and that would include almost all news organizations in this country as well,” he added.

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