Boris Johnson ‘Appalled’ by Tucker Carlson’s Influence over GOP Views on Russia
Former prime minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson said Wednesday that he is “appalled” by the influence Fox News host Tucker Carlson has on the GOP’s views about Russia.
“I have been appalled to discover just how many people are afraid and frightened of a guy called Tucker Carlson,” Johnson said during a panel discussion with the Atlantic Council. “What is it with this guy? All these wonderful Republicans seem intimidated by his perspective.”
The British politician blasted Carlson for allegedly sympathizing with Putin and his military campaign in Ukraine. Carlson on air has argued that Ukraine, to which the U.S. has funneled massive amounts of foreign aid and military equipment, is a “pure client state” and “not a democracy.” Washington’s stand against Russian aggression, Carlson has suggested, serves as a distraction from domestic problems plaguing the country, such as inflation and the border catastrophe.
“Some bad ideas are starting to infect thinking around the world about what Putin stands for. It’s a disaster. He stands for war, aggression systematic murder, rape, and destruction,” Johnson said of the atrocities inflicted by Putin.
Boris Johnson wades into the culture wars at @AtlanticCouncil this morning with this broadside against Tucker Carlson. pic.twitter.com/fHNm5u20JY
— Ben Judah (@b_judah) February 1, 2023
Last February, after Russia moved its troops into the separatist territories of Donetsk and Luhansk ahead of its invasion of Ukraine, Carlson questioned why the American public should have an interest in the foreign crisis and despising the Russian authoritarian.
“It may be worth asking yourself, since it is getting pretty serious, what is this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much?” he said. “Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him?”
“Democrats want you to hate Putin, anything less is treason,” Carlson said. Democrats aimed to weaponize that hatred into escalating U.S. involvement in order to spark a direct war with Russia, he claimed.
Carlson commented on Johnson’s visit to the U.S. during his Tuesday-night show, saying the former British leader was “whipping up support for a full-blown war against Russia, which he believes America should fight.” Johnson met with a number of Republican members of Congress to discuss the issue.
At one point, Carlson claimed, Johnson considered coming onto Carlson’s televised show.
“Boris Johnson is a famously erudite and articulate man. If there’s one person in politics who might be able to explain how a third-world war against Russia might conceivably strengthen the West and not just further empower China, it would probably be Boris Johnson,” Carlson said.
Johnson passed on the invitation to go on the show, however, Carlson said.
During a recent segment, Carlson appeared to criticize the Pentagon’s recent pledge to deliver M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine to assist with its war effort against Russia. The Ukrainians will reportedly be trained by Americans to operate the vehicles.
“Those tanks need Americans to operate and maintain them, so Americans are going to die in this war,” Carlson said.
Support among Republicans for assistance to Ukraine slipped to 55 percent from 80 percent in March 2022 as of December, according to a poll conducted by Global Affairs.