- Fox News
- The Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday criticized conservative hawks who had pushed for conflict with Iran.
- He accused conservatives of “uncritically” accepting claims from US intelligence that Iran posed an imminent threat.
- “It seems like about 20 minutes ago we were denouncing these very people as the ‘deep state’ and pledging to never trust them again without verification,” he said. “But now, for some reason, we do seem to trust them implicitly and completely.”
- Tensions between the US and Iran have ratcheted up after the US assassinated the top Iranian military commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in a drone strike Friday.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Fox News host Tucker Carlson on his prime-time show Monday lashed out at conservative hawks and those he described as “deep state” intelligence officials as fueling the escalating conflict between the US and Iran.
Carlson in a monologue on the show said the conflict was being driven by the same US intelligence agencies that Trump supporters until recently were attacking as part of a so-called deep-state plot against President Donald Trump.
“It’s hard to remember now, but as recently as last week, people didn’t consider Iran an imminent threat,” he said.
“Iranian saboteurs were not committing acts of terror in our cities. Oh, but our leaders tell us: ‘They were about to any second! That’s why we struck first.'”
- Andrew Craft/Getty Images
“What’s striking is how many people are willing to accept this uncritically,” Carlson added. “Just the other day, you remember, our intel agencies were considered politically tainted and suspect. Certainly on this show they are, were, and will be for quite some time.”
He accused intelligence officials of seeking to smear Trump as a Russian spy and brought up the faulty intelligence that was used to justify the war with Iraq in 2003.
“People pushing conflict with Iran are the same people who did that,” Carlson declared. “It seems like about 20 minutes ago we were denouncing these very people as the ‘deep state’ and pledging to never trust them again without verification. But now, for some reason, we do seem to trust them implicitly and completely.”
It’s the second time in recent days when Carlson has attacked those advocating war with Iran, with the host on Friday ridiculing a series of prominent neoconservatives and hawks while refraining from attacking Trump, who ordered that day’s strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Carlson’s comments highlight a growing rift among Trump supporters over US foreign policy.
“America First” nationalists, of whom Carlson is a prominent example, have called for the US to focus on domestic priorities and step back from foreign military entanglements, while hawks such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have long advocated more aggressive action against adversaries such as Iran.
Trump, who has veered between the two camps in the three years of his presidency, was reportedly influenced by Carlson in his last-minute decision to cancel airstrikes against Iran last August after a US drone was downed.
- Read more:
- Soleimani’s daughter warns at his funeral that families of US troops ‘will spend their days waiting for the death of their children’
- Trump’s order to kill Iran’s top general has sparked a catastrophe of his own making and left him globally isolated
- Why Iran’s Qassem Soleimani was on a not-so-secret trip to Iraq when he was assassinated
- Iran has vowed revenge on the US after Trump’s airstrike killed its top military commander. Here’s how it could happen.