Tucker Totally Ignores Fox News Fact Check on Ukraine War

Tucker Carlson’s claim Thursday that the U.S. “is a direct combatant” against Russia in Ukraine and that “American soldiers are fighting Russian soldiers” is at odds with what National Security Council member John Kirby reportedly told Fox News just hours prior.

His assertion also contradicts what former and current U.S. officials told ABC News earlier this week following the leak of classified documents about the war.

“The United States is a direct combatant in a war against Russia. As we speak, American soldiers are fighting Russian soldiers,” Carlson claimed. “This is a hot war between the two primary nuclear superpowers on Earth, and yet this war has never been formally declared. It has not been authorized by Congress. And for that reason, this war is a violation of American law. It is a crime.”

Tucker defended Teixera in no uncertain terms Thursday during his broadcast, repeatedly referring to the 21-year-old as a “kid” and suggesting that he should be celebrated as a whistleblower.

The Fox host’s comment came after the arrest of the alleged source of the leak, 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Teixeria is accused of the “unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified national defense information,” and could be charged under the Espionage Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland suggested Thursday. Members of a Discord channel on which Teixeira allegedly shared the documents told The Washington Post that among them was a screenshot of battlefield conditions in Ukraine.

Despite Carlson’s assertions that the U.S. and Russia are engaging directly, Kirby confirmed to the Fox host’s own network that the American military presence in Ukraine is limited to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev—and is not involved in providing combat support, Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich tweeted.

Additionally, ABC News on Wednesday cited a current and a former U.S. official who pushed back against claims that echoed Carlson’s. That report also noted that the Pentagon had acknowledged the presence of U.S. military personnel at the embassy as early as last fall.

“We’ve been very clear there are no combat forces in Ukraine, no US forces conducting combat operations in Ukraine,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters at a Nov. 1 briefing. “These are personnel that are assigned to conduct security cooperation and assistance as part of the Defense Attache Office.”

Carlson later praised Teixeira as someone “who told Americans what’s actually happening in Ukraine,” and complained that “the news media” is “treating him like Osama Bin Laden—maybe even worse, actually, because unlike Al Qaeda, apparently, this kid is a racist.”

According to the Post, Texeira was once videoed at a shooting range while shouting “a series of racial and antisemitic slurs into the camera” before firing a rifle.

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