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Tucker Carlson said he ‘passionately’ hated Donald Trump, new Fox News lawsuit filings show

New disclosures also show concern from top Fox figures about repeating Trump 2020 claims

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Wednesday 08 March 2023 15:58 GMT
Mitch McConnell hits out at Tucker Carlson segment on January 6

Tucker Carlson said he “passionately” hated Donald Trump and fantasised in 2021 about the day he would no longer have to cover his fellow conservative, according to new messages released as part of a defamation lawsuit against Fox News.

“We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights,” Carlson told an unknown Fox News employee just two days before the January 6 Capitol riot, according to the court documents. “I truly can’t wait.”

“I hate him passionately,” he added.

The Independent has contacted Fox News for comment.

Since the alleged messages were sent, Carlson has echoed many of the former president’s baseless claims about a stolen or rigged 2020 election.

The messages are the latest bombshell revelation in the $1.6bn (£1.35bn) defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against the conservative news network.

In other disclosures, Carlson called Mr Trump “a demonic force, a destroyer”, while labelling Mr Trump’s campaign officials and attorneys as liars who were spreading “offensive” conspiracies about the election.

“It’s unbelievably offensive to me,” Carlson said in one exchange. “Our viewers are good people and they believe it.”

Carlson isn’t the only one mentioned in the newly released court documents.

Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who owns the network, was captured elsewhere wondering if Fox News hosts like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham had gone “too far” with their election coverage.

“Maybe Sean and Laura went too far. All very well for Sean to tell you he was in despair about Trump, but what did he tell his viewers?” Fox Corp chair Murdoch wrote in a email to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott on 21 January 2021.

Previously, court documents showed Murdoch admitting that some of his top hosts, such as Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, had “endorsed at times this false notion of a stolen election”.

“I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight,” Murdoch said during a deposition, according to court documents.

Fox News editors and executives also voiced their concerns, according to documents from the lawsuit.

“In my 22 years affiliated with Fox, this is the closest thing I’ve seen to an existential crisis – at least journalistically,” former Washington managing editor Bill Sammon texted a colleague.

“What I see us doing is losing the silent majority of viewers as we chase the nuts off a cliff,” Chris Stirewalt, another former editor, responded.

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