Tucker Carlson links US support for Ukraine to Trump conspiracy theory that saw him impeached

Russia has moved troops into eastern Ukraine

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 23 February 2022 09:47 EST
Tucker Carlson says Ukraine is not a democracy in latest pro-Russia rant

Fox News host Tucker Carlson is facing backlash after doubling down on his criticism of Ukraine as Russia moves "peacekeeping" forces into separatist portions of the country.

The popular Fox News pundit's opinions have largely favoured Russia in his recent coverage, and on Monday he continued that line by saying Ukraine was not even a democracy, and that it enriched Joe Biden's family.

“Ukraine is not even a democracy," he said. "Ukraine is a corrupt, eastern European autocracy that has spent millions of dollars lobbying politicians in Washington and made the Biden family rich.”

Republicans loyal to former President Donald Trump have argued repeatedly that Mr Biden and his family were involved in illicit deals in Ukraine.

Mr Trump was impeached for attempting to coerce Ukrainian officials into providing compromising information on Mr Biden, his family, and the Democratic party.

In previous statements, Carlson has called Ukraine's elected president Volodymyr Zelensky a "dictator who's friends with everyone in Washington."

He sought to back his claims by pointing to the arrest of an opposition leader by Ukrainian law enforcement and the shuttering of a trio of TV channels accused of spreading pro-Russia propaganda.

The individual he was referring to, Viktor Medvedchuk, is reportedly a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin's, and is the head of Ukraine's Opposition Platform for Life. He was charged with treason in May, which led to his arrest.

Carlson said that that was how a "dictatorship operates”.

"It should make you very nervous that Joe Biden, [Director of the US Domestic Policy Council] Susan Rice, and the National Security Advisor kid, they're all telling us with a straight face … it's a democracy," he said at the time.

Ukraine is a democracy, but it is considered a developing democracy by the international community, including the US.

Mr Putin announced on Monday that his government was moving troops into separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, which he recognised as independent regions. He said the troops moving into eastern Ukraine were there for "peacekeeping" missions, a term that Nato nations have frequently used to justify moving military units into non-member countries.

Mr Biden and European powers in the region fear the move is a prelude to a full-scale invasion.

The president responded by imposing heavy financial sanctions against Russian banks and oligarchs. He also moved US troops into Baltic countries on Nato's eastern border with Russia.

Germany also responded to Russia's move by halting the certifying of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between it and Russia.

On Tuesday, the Russian government authorised Mr Putin's plans to move into eastern Ukraine. The "friendship treaties" between Russia and the separatist regions include mutual defence pacts and allow Mr Putin to build military bases in the contested regions.

Carlson’s comments on Russia have highlighted a deep divide in Republican foreign policy positions.

While individuals like Carlson and Senator Josh Hawley push against American support for Ukraine, other GOP lawmakers have continued to oppose Russia.

In fundraising emails sent out by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, she claimed that the US was being “pushed around by Russia.” However, another email, sent by Missouri senate candidate Eric Greitens claimed that “bloodthirsty Washington elites” were “warmongering” against Russia.

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