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Fox News host Tucker Carlson openly said on Monday night that he is rooting for Russia in its armed conflict with Ukraine, only to walk it back at the end of the broadcast and say “of course, I’m joking.”
Discussing the impeachment inquiry with former Hillary Clinton adviser Richard Goodstein, the Tucker Carlson Tonight host first insisted that support for impeachment is cratering due to the findings of a single poll.
This prompted Goodstein to note that President Donald Trump’s approval rating is dropping in a GOP-friendly poll while pointing out that 70 percent of respondents in a recent Washington Post survey felt the president did something wrong in the Ukraine scandal.
Carlson, meanwhile, quickly changed the subject to the unsubstantiated allegations that former Vice President Joe Biden and his son were involved in wrongdoing and corruption in Ukraine.
“Trump is being impeached for asking about it. Do you think that’s a little bit weird? Is it your classic case of sort of missing the thread in Washington?” Carlson exclaimed, laughing wildly. “There is open corruption and the guy who points it out is punished.”
Carlson would go on to dismiss concerns over Trump pressuring the Ukrainian president to announce an investigation into his domestic political rivals by dangling military funding, wondering why it was something we should care about.
“Because people are dying on the front lines,” Goodstein exclaimed. Carlson, who has been a vocal skeptic that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and has repeatedly called the Russia investigation a “hoax,” quickly interrupted.
“Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia?!” Carlson shouted without a hint of irony. “And I’m serious. Why do I care? Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which I am.”
The Fox News host would continue to mock Goodstein for expressing concern and alarm over Russia, repeatedly saying he doesn’t care what the country does or whether it attacks other nations.
At the very end of his broadcast and after his comments had already made waves on social media, Carlson insisted that this was all just a joke that went over everyone’s heads.
“Before we go, earlier in the show I noted I was rooting for Russia in the contest between Russia and Ukraine,” he said, “Of course, I’m joking. I’m only rooting for America—mocking the obsession many on the left have. Ha!”
Fellow Fox News star Sean Hannity, meanwhile, also helped Carlson sell his claim that he was merely joking with his Russia comment. During the handoff between their shows, Hannity quipped that "Tucker's a communist,” prompting Carlson to smack his desk and break out into a giggling fit.
“I rooted against Russia when it mattered by the way! Russia!!!” Carlson cackled.