Documents released by Dominion Voting Systems in recent weeks as part of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News have revealed extraordinary private communications and testimony from star anchors and network executives. In those statements, many of them expressed disbelief at President Donald J. Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election had been stolen from him, even though the network continued to air many of these lies.
Regardless of the outcome of the case, which is set to go to trial in April, one presenter in particular – Tucker Carlson – appears to be having a difficult road with his audience. In his private messages, Mr. Carlson, who is generally a strong supporter of Republicans, has repeatedly shown contempt for Mr. Trump and some of his closest associates.
Here are five examples from the docs:
November 6, 2020
1. About Trump’s business history
As votes were counted in the 2020 presidential election, Mr. Carlson texted his producer Alex Pfeiffer, concerned that viewers were turning away from Fox News after the network called Arizona for President Biden.
Alex Pfeiffer: Trump has a fairly low success rate in his business ventures.
Tucker Carlson: That’s for sure. All fail. What he’s good at is destroying things. In this he is the undisputed world champion.
November 10, 2020
2. About Trump’s plan to skip Biden’s inauguration
A staffer texted Mr. Carlson to say they had heard that Mr. Trump was planning not to attend the inauguration, an important symbol of the peaceful transfer of power.
Carlson: I had heard that about the initiation. Hard to believe. So destructive.
Carlson: It’s disgusting. I try to look away
November 23, 2020
3. About his interactions with Trump’s team regarding Sidney Powell, a Trump attorney
Mr. Carlson writes with Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham about Sidney Powell, an attorney for Mr. Trump and one of the biggest supporters of the baseless voter fraud allegations.
Carlson: I had to try to get the WH to reject them, which obviously they should have done long before.
Laura Ingraham: No reputable lawyer could believe what they said.
Carlson: But they said nothing in public. Pretty disgusting. And now, as I learned this morning, Trump is sitting back and letting them lose the Senate. He does not care. I care.
January 4, 2021
4. About his desire to get away from Trump
Mr. Carlson texts his staff two months after the 2020 election and two days before the Capitol building riot that he’s looking forward to not having to cover for Mr. Trump.
Carlson: We’re very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I can barely wait for it.
Carlson: I hate him passionately.
January 7, 2021
5. About the aftermath of the Capitol Riots
After the Capitol riot on January 6, Mr. Carlson writes with Mr. Pfeiffer about Mr. Trump’s guilt in the riot and how to deal with viewers who still support him. It was two weeks before President Biden was inaugurated.
Carlson: Trump has two weeks left. Once out, he becomes incalculably less powerful, even in the minds of his followers.
Carlson: He is a demonic force, a destroyer. But he will not destroy us. I’ve thought about that every day for four years.
piper: You’re right. I don’t want to let him destroy me either. [REDACTED]. The Trump rage spiral is vicious.
Carlson: That’s for sure. Deadly. It almost consumed me in November when Sidney Powell attacked us. It was very difficult to regain emotional control, but I knew I had to do it. We still have two weeks. We can do this.