Senator Tammy Duckworth, who became a recipient of the Purple Heart after she lost both her legs in a helicopter crash while serving in Iraq, was criticised by Carlson for comments she made on CNN on Sunday.
Ms Duckworth said that there should be a “national dialogue” around monuments that honour George Washington, because he owned slaves.
During Tucker Carlson Tonight on Monday evening, the host said that most people ignore the senator, but added: “When Duckworth does speak in public, you’re reminded what a deeply silly and unimpressive person she is.”
After playing a portion of the CNN clip, Carlson said: “You’re not supposed to criticise Tammy Duckworth in any way because she once served in the military.
“It’s long been considered out of bounds to question a person’s patriotism,” Carlson said. “It’s a very strong charge and we try not to ever to make it.”
However, the host went on to criticise the senator and said: “But in the face of all this, the conclusion can’t be avoided: These people actually hate America,” and added: “There’s no longer a question about that.”
Later on during the segment, Carlson claimed that the Democratic party “despise this country,” and wondered: “Can you really lead a country that you hate?”
Ms Duckworth hit back at the Fox News host on Tuesday, and tweeted: “Does @TuckerCarlson want to walk a mile in my legs and then tell me whether or not I love America?”
His campaign later released a statement saying the senator was “using her military service to deflect from her support for the left-wing campaign to villainise America’s founding”.
Ms Duckworth’s comments on CNN came amid a growing conversation in the US about the place of monuments that honour figures who were involved in slavery, following Black Lives Matter protests.
Over the past month, monuments to officials in the Confederacy – as well as statues of figures including Christopher Columbus – have been taken down across the US.
During the show on Monday, Carlson only showed a small clip of the interview, and did not include the senator’s full answer about George Washington monuments.
Ms Duckworth said that “we should listen to everybody” about the monuments, but referenced the coronavirus pandemic, and added: “I’m more worried about the 130,000 who have lost their lives recently ... than I am about our historical past.”
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