Alexander Vindman likens Tucker Carlson to WWII propagandists Tokyo Rose in Twitter spat

Impeachment figure fires back after Fox host mentions him by name

John Bowden
Thursday 24 February 2022 16:39
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Retired army official accuses Tucker Carlson of 'hating the United States'

A figure who rose to prominence in Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial is lashing out at Fox News host Tucker Carlson after the latter name-checked him during a segment on Ukraine and Russia.

Lt Col Alexander Vindman tore into the Fox host in a pair of tweets that furiously accused Carlson of trying to weaken the US and the west while spreading pro-Russian propaganda. The comments came amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and days of remarks from Carlson questioning the legitimacy of Ukraine’s government and Nato’s positions while he and other pro-Trump conservatives (including the former president himself) have heaped praise on Russia’s leader.

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Carlson’s remarks on Wednesday amounted to his most pro-Russian diatribe yet on America’s most-watched cable news network and during the broadcast he bizarrely linked the issue of US support of Ukraine to support for Mr Vindman, who testified against Mr Trump during his first impeachment trial.

"[Y]our job is to take up arms in defence of Alexander Vindman's home country, or else you're evil,” Carlson characterised as the Biden administration’s position. The US is not pursuing military action in Ukraine or anywhere in Europe, and the White House firmly denied that it would consider engaging US forces to defend Ukraine on Wednesday.

Mr Vindman fired back in a tweet, writing: “Hey TuckyoRose, @TuckerCarlson. Yes, I 💯% support defending my homeland. That’s why I did more than talk, I served 21 years in the @USArmy. What did you do besides so discord amongst American, cheerlead for our enemies, and weaken us, inviting attacks on the U.S.”

His use of the moniker “TuckyoRose” was a reference to the World War II-era women broadcasters who served as propagandists for the Japanese government, and were dubbed “Tokyo Rose” by American service members. The women broadcast Japanese propaganda over the airwaves in the English language throughout the war.

In a separate tweet using the same insulting nickname, Mr Vindman claimed that Mr Carlson and other defenders of Mr Putin and Russian aggression had “blood” of Ukrainian civilians on their hands.

"Now #Tuckyorose @TuckerCarlson & Trump will forever be tied to the immense human suffering, including American casualties, resulting from Putin war on Ukraine," Mr Vindman tweeted. "You have blood on your hand. Putin saw opportunity to attack America because you weakened us and cheered him."

Mr Vindman is far from the first to accuse Carlson of spreading Russian propaganda from his position as one of Fox’s most-watched hosts. Two Democratic members of Congress have made similar allegations, with one flatly labelling the Fox opinion host as a “pro-Putin shill” and another claiming that his office was inundated with calls from Carlson’s viewers who were as a result taking sympathetic views towards Russia’s claims of Ukrainian aggression.

Carlson has never directly advocated for a Russian invasion of Ukraine, and has dismissed his political opponents’ criticisms in recent interviews.

“It’s too stupid I don’t speak Russian. I’ve never been to Russia. I’m not that interested in Russia. All I care about is the fortunes of the United States because I have four children who live here,” he previously said to Axios.

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