Fox News’ Tucker Carlson again criticized the Trump administration’s escalation of conflict with Iran, questioning why some of the same officials were trusting the “deep state” intelligence agencies that they had viewed with skepticism before.
Soon after news broke that Donald Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Iran’s military leader Qasem Soleimani, Carlson has been questioning the rationale and wisdom for the move, seeing it as a prelude to a wider conflict. The Tucker Carlson Tonight host diverged from his own support of Trump, along with other Fox News hosts who have backed the president’s action wholeheartedly.
On a Monday segment on his show (watch it above), Carlson said at the outset, “It is harder to get rich and powerful during peacetime, and so our leaders have a built-in bias for war.”
Carlson focused on why some officials are trusting “deep state” intelligence agencies that they otherwise treated with indignation, particularly over the Russia investigation.
“Just the other day, you may remember, our intel agencies were considered politically tainted and suspect,” Carlson said. “Certainly on this show they are, were and will be for quite some time.
He added: “It seems about 20 minutes ago we were denouncing these very people as the ‘deep state,’ and pledging never to trust them again without verification. But now, for some reason, we do seem to trust them implicitly and completely. In fact, we believe whatever they tell us, no matter how outlandish.”
Although he did not call out Trump by name, Carlson ran clips of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in which they warned that Iran would face dire consequences if they retaliate for Soleimani’s killing. In one clip, Pompeo said, “The risk of terror is increased by appeasement.”
“That’s a good line, and it may be true. It probably is true,” Carlson said on his show. “Of course, the risk of terror also is increased by bombing other people’s countries. That is also indisputably true.”
Carlson also questioned why Iran became such an urgent threat when “as recently as last week, most people didn’t consider Iran an imminent threat. Iranian saboteurs were not committing acts of terror in our cities. ‘Oh but,’ our leaders tell us, ‘they were about to any second.'”
He also called out efforts to link Iran to the 9/11 attacks. In a series of tweets last week, Vice President Mike Pence listed some of Soleimani’s atrocities, including that he “assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.” But an AP fact check deemed Pence’s comment misleading, as there is no evidence that Iran provided direct support the 9/11 hijackers.
“Iran did 9/11′ they are telling us,” Carlson said. “Oh, OK I didn’t know that. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were from Sunni Saudi Arabia, and none were from Shiite Iran, but if you say so, Mr. Unnamed CIA official, I am happy to send my kid to the Middle East a week after Christmas on the basis of your anonymous, unverified leaks to The New York Times. You have earned my trust on the basis of years of lying to me. That appears to be our position now.”