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Tucker Carlson says he ‘doesn’t care’ if people say he’s a ‘Putin pawn’ as he echoes Russian propaganda on Ukraine

Fox News host Tucker Carlson on December 7, 2021.FoxNews

  • Tucker Carlson told Axios he doesn’t care if critics call him Putin’s “pawn”.

  • Carlson echoed Kremlin talking points in covering the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

  • Some Republican lawmakers are now repeating Carlson’s rhetoric on the issue.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a new interview with Axios said he hopes Republicans reject any lawmaker “who thinks Ukraine’s borders are more important than our borders.”

As Russia has mustered tens of thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border in recent months, Carlson has defended Moscow amid fears the Kremlin is planning an invasion. The Fox News host, for example, recently said that the reinforcement of the Russian army on the Ukrainian border was just an attempt by Putin “to keep its western borders secure.” This rhetoric is almost identical to Kremlin propaganda.

But Carlson told Axios he wasn’t bothered by allegations that he was acting as a “pawn” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I just want to say publicly that I don’t care if they call me a pawn of Putin,” Carlson said in comments posted by Axios on Thursday. “It’s too stupid. I don’t speak Russian. I’ve never been to Russia. Russia doesn’t interest me that much. All I care about is the fortune of the United States because I have four children who live here.”

Carlson ignores how Putin fomented the Ukraine crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks past soldiers during a ceremony.

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony.MIKHAIL METZEL/SPOUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

In recent years, Ukraine has become a geopolitical dividing line between Russia and the West.

Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 and annexed Crimea, and in the years since supported separatists in a war against Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbass region. Although it has amassed a force of around 100,000 troops on the border of the former Soviet republic, the Kremlin says it has no intention of invading Ukraine.

The United States and its allies fear that Putin is trying to implant a pro-Kremlin government in Kyiv – threatening to destabilize the region in the process.

Russia, for its part, blame NATO for litigation dynamics. Putin accused the West of not respecting his “red lines.” The Russian government has frequently spoken out against NATO’s growing influence in Eastern Europe, while complaining about the alliance’s military exercises in the region.

As the United States strives to resolve the current hostilities diplomatically, the Kremlin has demanded binding security guarantees from Western powers. Among other things, Moscow has insisted that Ukraine and Georgia – another former Soviet republic that Russia invaded in 2008 – can never join NATO. But the United States and the alliance have made it clear that NATO’s open door policy is not up for discussion, stressing that countries should be free to choose their own alliances.

Meanwhile, Carlson reiterated Russia’s claims that NATO is responsible for the situation, ignoring the fact that Putin’s history of aggression in the region is what has pushed Ukraine closer to the EU. West and the alliance in the first place.

“NATO exists mainly to torment Vladimir Putin”, Carlson said in December, while baselessly accusing President Joe Biden of waging a “hot war” with Russia.

Despite Carlson’s claims, Biden has been firm that no American troops would be sent to Ukraine to fight Russia if she invades. Ukraine is not a member of NATO and the United States is not obliged to defend it. The United States sent arms to Ukraine and warned Russia of serious economic consequences if it invaded. Biden is considering sending troops to NATO member countries in Eastern Europe as a deterrent, but has made clear he is not pursuing a conflict with Russia.

NATO, created in the aftermath of World War II to protect Europe against the Soviet Union in the midst of the Cold War, is not without its critics. There are those in the American foreign policy community and beyond who whether the alliance is an outdated Cold War relicsaying Europe needs to update its security apparatus and priorities.

“Russia has legitimate security concerns, and Europe’s security arrangements could certainly be subject to rethinking and renovation after 30 years,” wrote Fiona Hill, who served as the chief adviser Russian on the National Security Council under the Trump administration. Editorial from the New York Times. “But a new Russian invasion of Ukraine and the dismemberment and neutralization of Ukraine cannot be a problem for US-Russian negotiations or an essential element of European security.”

And after 20 years of the War on Terror, many Americans don’t want to see the United States dragged into another conflict. A recent YouGov poll, for example, revealed 33% of Americans say that the United States has no responsibility to protect Ukraine.

But Carlson’s depiction of the Ukraine crisis whitewashes Putin’s record of threatening his neighbor and the wider region with violence as he tries to reestablish Russian supremacy in Eastern Europe that was lost when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Carlson influences GOP stance on Ukraine

ukrainian soldiers

Ukrainian soldiers patrol the front line in Zolote, Ukraine, January 20, 2022.Wolfgang Schwan/Getty Images

Carlson’s comment on Ukraine was aired on Russian state televisionand critics accused him of enabling the Kremlin.

“@TuckerCarlson kinda likes him Putin,” said Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, noted in a recent tweet.

As the most-watched host on cable news, Carlson has immense influence. His rhetoric on Ukraine has been repeated by far-right Republicans like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia and Paul Gosar from Arizona.

“My office is now getting calls from people who say they are watching Tucker Carlson and are upset that we are not on Russia’s side in their threats to invade Ukraine, and who want me to support Russia’s ‘reasonable’ positions. Russia,” said Democratic Rep. Tom. Malinowski from New Jersey said in a tweet Monday.

Carlson has continued to side with Russia even though it refuses to withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border to help bring the temperature down.

“Why is it disloyal to side with Russia, but fair to side with Ukraine? » Carlson said Monday evening. “They’re two foreign countries that don’t care about the United States. It’s kind of weird.”

Although Ukraine has had problems with corruption, it is a democratic country with close ties to the United States and its main allies. Meanwhile, Putin is a strongman who ruled Russia for two decades. He is widely seen as an enemy of democracy and led interference in recent US elections. And the opponents of the Russian leader often end up dead or in prison.

Ukraine would be outmatched in a war against Russia, which has one of the strongest armies in the world. Russia has effectively created a geopolitical hostage crisis by threatening Ukraine with invasion, as it pushes the West into negotiations while refusing to withdraw its troops. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken compared the current crisis to Russia pointing a gun to the head of ukraine.

But none of these factors stopped Carlson from continuing to side with Putin.

Carlson’s defense of Putin is part of a broader trend on the American right

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a joint press conference after their summit July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland.Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Although he is an authoritarian who has taken anti-democratic measures to remain president for life while working against American interests at almost every turn, Putin has a certain appeal among the American right.

A recent survey revealed that 62% Republicans consider Putin a stronger leader than Biden.

Putin, who was condemned by human rights groups on Russia’s anti-LGBTQ policies, has been applauded by evangelical leaders in the United States, such as Franklin Graham, for defending “Traditional Christianity”.

White nationalists in the United States, who admire widely Carlson’s show, also praised Putin. In 2016, white supremacist leader Richard Spencer said Russia was “the only white power in the world”.

Former President Donald Trump has often expressed his admiration for Putin, controversially showering the Russian president with flattery on numerous occasions and defending him against criticism. Trump, like Carlson, has been accused by experts of embolden Putin and open the door to further aggression against Ukraine.

But not all Republicans have taken a pro-Putin stance. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this week that Biden was moving in the “good direction” as the administration put 8,500 troops on heightened alert for possible deployment to Eastern Europe. Indeed, many top GOP lawmakers in Congress are urging Biden to pursue a tougher approach against Russia, and the party is generally in line with Democrats when it comes to showing strong support for Ukraine. .

But the question remains open whether Carlson’s continued coverage of the Russia-Ukraine crisis might cause more Republicans to abandon that position and echo the Kremlin’s talking points.

Insider contacted Fox News for comment.

Read the original article at Business Intern




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