Donald J. Donald’s announcement Monday that Fox News is parting ways with its top-rated prime-time anchor Tucker Carlson. Trump’s orbit stunned people. According to a person with direct knowledge, the former president himself was surprised by the news, and Mr. His eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., a close friend of Carlson’s, described the network’s decision as “heartbreaking.”
“I think it’s going to change things forever,” Donald Trump Jr. said In “The Charlie Kirk Show”, Mr. He called Carlson “a true thought leader in conservatism” and a “once-in-a-generation talent.”
Mr. Trump and his family are no longer Mr. The casual news watcher would be forgiven for thinking he didn’t have a relationship with Carlson. Dominion voting systems.
In early 2021, Mr. As Trump desperately tried to overturn the 2020 election, Mr. Carlson texted a confidant that he hated the president “with a passion.” He also described Mr Trump as a “demonic force”.
When the texts were published in March, Mr. Trump was injured, and Mr. called Carlson, a person familiar with Outreach said. But the two quickly patched it up. Since then, they have continued to talk, exchange text messages and seem to have a closer relationship than ever before, Mr. According to two people close to Trump who are familiar with their relationship and don’t want to discuss their relationship, the contacts are private.
In an interview with Newsmax’s Greg Kelly, Mr. Recorded shortly after Carlson’s departure, Mr Trump offered his support for the former host. “I’m shocked. I’m amazed,” Mr. Trump said. “I think Tucker has been wonderful. He, especially in the last year or so, has been terrible to me.
For comment, Mr. Carlson did not respond.
Last year, Mr. Some of Trump’s advisers, Mr. Carlson, Mr. They were concerned that Trump’s main rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, appeared ready to support a potential presidential bid. Mr. Carlson gave Mr DeSantis plenty of airtime and praised his policies. But for the past six weeks, Mr. Trump and Mr. As Carlson often spoke, Mr. For DeSantis Mr. Trump’s team increasingly believed that Carlson would not weigh in. Fox News.
In late March, Russian President Vladimir V. Calling Putin a “war criminal,” Mr. Mr. DeSantis’ decision Knowing that Carlson was disgusted, the Trump team liked their odds even more.
Ohio Republican Senator J.T. Vance, Mr. Trump and Mr. A close associate of both Carlson described the Fox News anchor’s exit as shocking.
“Tucker is the most powerful voice against giant, senseless wars and an economy that puts plutocrats over workers,” said Mr. Vance said in a text message. “This is a huge loss for a conservative movement that believes it deserves its own electorate. I think he will land on his feet and continue to have a powerful voice. Failure to do so would spell disaster for the country.
“Leaving Fox was the best decision I ever made. Good for you, @TuckerCarlson. You are free & uncensored!” Gary Lake, a Republican who lost last year’s gubernatorial race in Arizona, wrote in an essay. Tweet. In 2021, Ms. Lake left.
Rep. Lauren Bobert, Republican of Colorado, struck an upbeat tone Monday Tweet: “Wherever Tucker Carlson goes, America will follow!”
Joe Kent, a Republican, ran for Congress in Washington state and lost. Tweeted“Tucker will stand for the start of the News Network, and the people are demanding it!”
Mr. A close Trump ally said Mr. Trump was more rocket fuel than any other candidate on Fox’s airwaves. Carlson said he was glad he couldn’t deliver. Yet to some candidates in the Republican primary field, Mr. The loss of Karlsson means they have a minefield to navigate.
For example, weeks ago Mr. Carlson told Mr. DeSantis’ description of the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “territorial dispute” set off alarm bells and waves of criticism among Republicans in Washington and some donors. Mr. Mr. DeSantis’ nomination It marks the beginning of concern about his expected candidacy from some who saw him as the best choice to stop Trump.
A Trump adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said after the Dominion case that any pro-Trump host on Fox News had a target on their back.
Mr. Trump’s longtime adviser, Roger J. Stone Jr., Mr. An old friend of Carlson’s also said in an interview that Fox News had “essentially canceled the nation’s most influential conservative commentator.” Time to kill the cash cow for collateral.”
Mr. He predicts Carlson will take his “huge audience” with him wherever he goes next.
Alice McFadden Contributed report.