Fox News host Tucker Carlson called President Trump a “compulsive self-promoter” and a “full-blown BS artist” while seeking to defend him against negative media coverage during his show on Wednesday night.
During the segment on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the Fox News host noted that fact-checkers at The Washington Post have documented more than 13,000 false or misleading statements Trump has made since taking office in 2017.
“One of the reasons progressives say they hate Donald Trump is because he lies a lot,” Carlson said at the start of the segment. “Trump, they’ll tell you, is a committed liar.”
“As the Post points out, the lying began at the inauguration. Perhaps you remember this claim, which, at the time, deeply offended official Washington,” Carlson said before going on to play a clip of Trump claiming that his inauguration drew the largest audience “ever.”
“We’re not going to lie to you,” Carlson said. “That was untrue. The crowd at the 2017 inauguration was not the largest ever measured on the National Mall. Sorry, it wasn’t.”
“Why did the president claim it was? Well, because that’s who he is,” the Fox News host continued. “Donald Trump is a salesman. He’s a talker. He’s a boaster, a booster, a compulsive self-promoter. At times, he’s a full-blown BS artist. If Trump hadn’t gotten rich in real estate, he could have made a fortune selling cars.”
Carlson went on to say that “most people know this” while segueing to a larger defense of the president, asking, “Is lying really the reason the left despises Donald Trump?”
“Or could the real problem be, as is so often the case, the exact opposite of what they claim it is?” Carlson said, asserting that the most controversy during Trump’s tenure has not come when Trump has “told some whopper or exaggerated his own accomplishments” but when “he tells the truth.”
“Truth is the real threat to their power,” Carlson said, before going on to claim that “there is an unspoken agreement among the people in charge of our country not to talk about what has happened to it.”
“They are personally implicated in its decline, for one thing. Often, they’re profiting from it,” Carlson said. “The last thing they want is a national conversation about what went wrong, and so they maintain an increasingly strict policy of mandatory reality avoidance.”
To support his claims, Carlson discussed a series of moments throughout Trump’s presidency in which he has received criticism for his controversial rhetoric.
One instance Carlson pointed to was when Trump received backlash last year following a report that he said immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries came from “shithole countries.”
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said during a discussion on immigration in the Oval Office in January 2017, multiple people familiar with the briefing told the Post last year. At the time, the remark prompted a whirlwind of outrage.
In his defense of the president, Carlson said Trump was “speaking candidly” about immigration in the moment.
“During a conversation with advisers, Trump asked why so many immigrants come to the U.S. from impoverished countries. If immigration is supposed to make America better, he asked, shouldn’t we try to draw people from the most advanced societies?” Carlson said. “Well, it’s an obvious question, you could debate it, of course, but it’s a real question.”
After playing a montage of clips showing multiple CNN anchors criticizing Trump’s remarks, Carlson remarked: “Oh the posturing.”
“But let’s be real. Is there a single living person who disagrees with Trump’s assessment of Haiti?” Carlson asked. “Probably not, certainly Haitian immigrants agree with him. That’s why they moved here. Nobody on any of the CNN panels you just saw is locating to Haiti anytime soon for the same reason.”
He also defended Trump against criticism he received earlier this year for attacks he made on Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Baltimore, amid a back-and-forth with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who died last month. At the time, Trump called the majority-black district a “rodent infested mess.”
“Baltimore may be the most depressing big city on the eastern seaboard. Ever been there? Everyone in Washington’s been there. It’s only an hour away. If you want to take the Acela from Washington to New York, you have to pass through Baltimore,” Carlson said.
“And if it’s daylight out, there’s no denying the awful reality of the place. This summer, the president told the rest of the world what’s it like,” he said, before adding: “But the obvious follow-up is, why is Baltimore so bad? How did it get so poor and hopeless?”
Carlson went on to blame part of the answer on what he called “50 years of uninterrupted Democratic Party rule,” which he said “hasn’t helped Baltimore very much.”
“That place is still sad and desperate and screwed up, and absolutely not one person in Washington, D.C., cares at all that it is, except [to] the extent that they want to make certain that you never talk about Baltimore, because thinking or talking about Baltimore, or for that matter, thinking or talking about mass immigration … or any of that might point out their own egregious failures and selfishness’s, which are profound,” Carlson said.