Tucker Carlson defended his views when Fox News’ senior political analyst Brit Hume took exception to his remark that there are American leaders “who hate the country.”
Reflecting back on the anniversary of 9/11, Carlson spoke about the changes in threats to the nation in the 17 years since the terrorist attack, warning that America should be concerned about threats from within.
Carlson blasted Sen. Angus King for comparing 9/11 to Russian cyber attacks, saying only someone “cut off from reality, someone who lives full-time in a tiny airless a world of fellow dumb people could utter those words without turning red with shame.”
“It is worth thinking about what the real threats to America are after 17 years, 17 years after the Towers fell. Russia’s not even in the top ten, Islamic extremism does seem mildly less threatening for the first time in a long time, let’s hope that remains true,” he added. “But the real threats we face today may be from within. Leaders who hate the country they govern so much that they seek to make American citizenship irrelevant.”
Hume agreed with the Fox News host that King’s comments were “absurd.”
“This sort of thing is regrettable, and I think the divisions in the country worry me as much as they have anything else,” he said.
“Did you ever think you would see public opinion polling showing that a huge percentage of young people prefer socialism to our system?” Carlson asked.
“I think it is a regrettable commentary on our educational system,” Hume responded, expounding on the issue before going back to part of Carlson’s commentary.
“I have to say, Tucker, you know I love you, but when you were talking about the leaders who hate our country, I don’t think there are any leaders out there who hate our country, except in foreign lands perhaps,” Hume said. “I think there are people who may have all the wrong ideas about how it should be governed, but I don’t think they hate our country. And I don’t really think it strengthens the case to say that they do.”
“No, I think they do,” Carlson countered. “If you have the richest people in our country desecrating our national symbols and that’s considered a sign of heroism, what does that say about the attitudes of the people doing it? Or if you have people saying that America was never a just and good place, those are acts of hostility.”
“They’re criticisms of the country. Whether they are actual acts of hostility I must be permitted to doubt,” Hume responded. “I think that people have some profoundly wrong ideas about the direction that this country ought to go in the critique of America as it is, is wrong. I just don’t think it rises to the level of saying, they hate our country.”
“I hope you’re right,” Carlson said.
“If I hated a country, I would open its doors to anyone who wanted to come here and demand nothing in return. That’s how I would act,” he added. “So maybe I’m just projecting. If I loved a country, I would treat it like I treat my own house and its citizens like my own children, but I don’t think they do that.”