“I hate him passionately,” Tucker Carlson once wrote about twice-impeached and now criminally indicted former President Donald Trump. But on Tuesday night, the Fox host bent over backward, forward, and sideways to try cleaning up his errant comments on the radical leader of the Republican Party. Carlson hosted the suddenly “sensible and wise” Trump in an hour-long special, in which the Fox host barely got a word in, giving the former president open rein, perhaps as an apology gift.
In fact, most of Carlson’s presence was felt during interluding clips of him lobbing any favorable adjective he could to describe Trump.
“His descriptions of a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago were remarkably nuanced and even affectionate,” Carlson said of Trump.
On the actual substance of the interview, it was fairly standard Trump form: incoherent ramblings ranging from self-aggrandizing fantasies to geopolitical grievances.
For instance, apparently, when Trump was arraigned last week, people who worked at the courthouse had tears streaming down their faces as they offered assurances to him: “2024, sir.”
Carlson chummily giggled at Trump’s joke that the Wharton School of Finance didn’t teach him about being arraigned.
Trump, who has been debased by numerous Fox anchors including Carlson himself, cited numerous Fox personalities defending his innocence amid being arraigned for 34 counts of falsifying business records while coordinating a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels, with whom he allegedly had an affair.
On global politics, Trump had glowing praises for rulers for whom, if any Democrat had shared equal sentiments, Fox would sic every host and anchor onto them for months.
The Chinese president, Trump said, was not only “brilliant” but also someone you could never find a good casting for in Hollywood.
Trump also went out of his way, while offering prefaces for why he shouldn’t say it, to talk about Xi’s “beautiful female interpreter.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, is “very smart,” despite having a “bad year,” not having taken over all of Ukraine. “And what are we going to do? Because Biden is so committed to Ukraine,” he continued.
Trump, however, insisted that he stood up to Putin’s desires, on Ukraine and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. “I was the worst thing that ever happened to him,” Trump said.
Amid all this, Trump said his biggest problem was not any other nation but “sick radical people” who live within the United States.
“We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for [Trump’s presidency], because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest,” Carlson wrote in a text message, just two days before the January 6 attack on the Capitol. “We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait.”
Instead, two years later, Carlson is back to pretending.