Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s criticism of the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis in Ukraine has pushed a Democratic lawmaker to ask an intelligence briefer to dig up dirt on the top-ranked cable news program in an effort to find out if the show is tied to Russia.
Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper, 65, asked the question during a closed-door briefing in Congress on Wednesday, Carlson revealed on his show Friday.
‘We are not tied to Russia, of course,’ Carlson said. ‘It’s a cable television program. He knows that. But that is not the point.’
‘So in retaliation for that, Jim Cooper has asked the intel agencies to dig up dirt on us,’ he added. ‘To be clear, that is not allowed. It is illegal to use the U.S. Government to settle partisan scores or to silence opposition journalists.’
Carlson told viewers that Cooper – a Blue Dog Coalition member who is planning to retire in January after serving in Congress for 32 years – ‘admitted what he did today when we asked him,’ and was ‘too cowardly to come on tonight to explain how he could justify that.’
In a statement on Twitter Friday, Cooper’s office stated that the congressman was marking the first anniversary of his wife’s death, who died from Alzheimer’s disease.
The statement also noted that Cooper ‘has every right to ask whatever questions he thinks are important to strengthening American security during confidential House Intelligence Committee hearings.’
Carlson found that excuse appalling.
‘It is also, by the way, illegal to secretly monitor their electronic communication,’ he said. ‘We are not speculating about it. The NSA admitted that.’
‘This is scary behavior. It is also revealing. After a full year of governing, all the Biden administration could muster when challenged are ad hominem attacks and more spying from the Intel agents. Let’s put the Intel agencies on. What they can’t do is explain themselves. They don’t even try.’
Here's the statement from Cooper's office obtained by Tucker Carlson's show pic.twitter.com/uY8GW59eK9
— Daniel Chaitin (@danielchaitin7) February 5, 2022
It was bad enough that the NSA was spying on Carlson. It’s not the kind of situation where there should be a “here we go again” moment.
It’s one thing for the White House to go after members across the aisle; what they did to Hawley is egregious, but he at least took it in stride, as did his staff.
The Democratic Party has been accusing their detractors of Russian collusion for years now. When it amounts to spying on journalists and television hosts and tossing around such accusations, there’s even further cause for concern with how Joe Biden and his handlers treat the free press, as if there weren’t enough reasons to be frustrated with a less than transparent administration.