Are these mixed messages? Fox News host Tucker Carlson spoke concerning his views on President Trump: “I don’t think he’s capable,” he said during an interview on Tuesday.
The interviewer was Urs Gehriger, an editor at “Die Weltwoche,” Switzerland’s leading German-language opinion weekly. He noted that Carlson’s new book, “Ship of Fools,” is silent on Trump but comments on his critics.
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Gehriger initiated the conversation by asking what Carlson thought of Trump’s first two years in office.
Carlson said he does not like Trump’s self-aggrandizement and boasting. Then, when asked whether Trump has kept his promises, Carlson had just one word: “No.”
These comments by Carlson are not in line with the other primary voices at Fox News. Hosts like Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro have taken strong positions in support of Trump and against “the liberal left.” Hannity has even joined Trump on the campaign stage.
Tuesday’s interview was not Carlson’s first public criticism of the president; he called Trump’s attacks on then-attorney general Jeff Sessions, following his recusal from the Russia investigation, a “useless, self-destructive act.”
Carlson focused on this premise for his criticism of the president: “His chief promises were that he would build the wall, defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn’t done any of those things,” Carlson said. Trump, he said, doesn’t understand the system, and his own agencies don’t support him.
“He knows very little about the legislative process, hasn’t learned anything, hasn’t surrounded himself with people that can get it done, hasn’t done all the things you need to do, so it’s mostly his fault that he hasn’t achieved those things,” he added.
Carlson has come to believe that Trump’s role is not as a conventional president who promises to achieve certain things and then does. Instead, it’s to “begin the conversation about what actually matters.”
Gehriger said Carlson sounded like a “renegade.”
“He was so tough” on Trump, he said. “He was nobody’s cheerleader. For a person who is so successful on Fox News, I didn’t expect him to be so outspoken.”