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Mitch McConnell says Tucker Carlson’s following in the GOP is ‘disturbing’

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Mitch McConnell recently offered his most blunt remarks yet on former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
  • He said he was disturbed by Carlson’s “followers in the Congress as well as in the country.”
  • He also said the “party of Ronald Reagan is coming back” because of the war in Ukraine.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear this week that he’s no fan of Tucker Carlson.

Though the Kentucky Republican has criticized the recently-fired Fox News host before, McConnell has typically opted to make those criticisms indirectly.

But in an interview with Bloomberg published on Tuesday, McConnell said he was disturbed by Carlson’s following in the congressional GOP with respect to the war in Ukraine and even bragged about being one of the few Republicans to criticize him.

“At the risk of patting myself on the back, not many Republicans went after Tucker Carlson, but I did,” McConnell told Bloomberg. “I think Carlson had developed a coterie of followers in the Congress as well as in the country that I found disturbing.”

In addition to Ukraine, McConnell has been critical of Carlson’s skewed depiction of the events of January 6, 2021.

At a March press conference, he began his remarks by holding up a letter from the Capitol Police Chief calling Carlson’s depiction of security footage from January 6 as “offensive and misleading.”

—CSPAN (@cspan) March 7, 2023

The Senate minority leader said in that same interview that he believes there’s “enough support within Congress to sustain” US support for Ukraine — of which Carlson had been a key critic — for “a good deal longer.”

McConnell also said he sensed a shift in his party away from former President Donald Trump, who broke with longstanding Republican orthodoxy on foreign policy, as a result of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“I do think the party of Ronald Reagan is coming back here,” said McConnell. “I think the one good thing that’s come out of this is a renewed belief that national security is important.”

Despite McConnell’s comments, Carlson continues to enjoy warm relations with many in the Republican Party.

Last week, after a leaked text message from Carlson revealed that he had made racially-tinged remarks, Sen. JD Vance of Ohio defended the former Fox News host, who he called a personal friend.

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, another skeptic of US aid to Ukraine and an ally of Carlson’s said he wished the Fox News host well even after being informed of the contents of the text.

“I wish Tucker the best,” said Hawley. “I’m not gonna comment on his texts, and emails, and whatever else, Snapchat, that’s next.”

And Trump continues to be the overwhelming frontrunner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2024, according to averages of recent polling.

Note: May 9, 2023 — This article has been updated to reflect that McConnell was primarily referring to Tucker Carlson’s views on Ukraine.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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