While discussing the events that led to the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host told his guest Richard Goodstein, a former adviser to 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, that he didn’t care about the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“Why do I care? Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia?” Carlson asked. “And I’m serious. Why do I care? Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which I am.”
“Because those of us watching — myself — think preserving democracy is important,” Goodstein responded.
Carlson’s comments came following a back and forth between the pair over the fact that congressional testimony, text message logs and the summary of Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested Trump was more interested in an announcement about an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden ― who sat on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings ― than he was in rooting out corruption in Ukraine.
“This is what a reality TV star does,” Goodstein said. “He doesn’t care about the substance. He wanted something announced, not actually done.”
Carlson said, “We do care about the substance of it,” and went on to criticize Hunter Biden for his role at Burisma Holdings, for which he had limited experience, calling it “totally corrupt.”
“Why is it worse to ask about it than do it?” he added.
“Because people are dying on the front lines” Goodstein replied, referring to the war between Ukraine and Russia.
This was the point at which Carlson, who has been an outspoken skeptic of the well-documented Russian interference in the 2016 election, made his comments about the conflict, demanding repeatedly to know why he should care about what Russia does.
Because, Goodstein explained, “Russia is trying to undo our democracy... Ukraine is not ― they actually want our democracy to succeed and they want theirs to succeed.”
At the end of the broadcast, following outcry on Twitter over his earlier declaration that he was “rooting for Russia,” Carlson walked back his comments.
“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 for America.”
Here is some of the commentary on Twitter: