Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) on Monday provided a lengthy rationale for declining to ever appear on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program, describing it as being “full of Russian propaganda and not news.”
“Tucker Carlson invited me on his show tonight, but that’s not going to happen… ever,” the lawmaker tweeted alongside a video statement. “While he echoes Putin’s lies, I’ll remain focused on supporting the Ukrainian people.”
Carlson often attacks Kinzinger, one of a handful of Republicans in Congress who have been repeatedly and publicly critical of former President Donald Trump. Kinzinger has also gone after Carlson in the past for spreading disinformation and sentiments supportive of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“His insistence that the West was provoking war with Putin, his spreading lies about bio labs, and his continued spewing of conspiracy theories are nothing but complete evil,” Kinzinger said in his video statement.
“His show is full of Russian propaganda and not news, and I will not validate his show by making an appearance. I do not want to be associated with it in any way.”
He predicted what would happen if he appeared on the program, noting that Carlson’s playbook for “hostile” interviews is to interrupt the guests and then laugh “when he’s been caught in a lie.”
Carlson has openly admitted that he lies on his show.
“We know the interview would be promoted to get more viewers, to make more money, to further empower his garbage,” Kinzinger added.
Pointing to the dire situation in Ukraine as Putin wages war, Kinzinger said it was time for “serious conversation and decisive action.”
“Not a self-serving showboat clamoring for more clicks tonight.”
Kinzinger encouraged viewers to join him in supporting Ukraine by donating to a humanitarian aid fund for Ukrainian refugees on his website.
“Tucker has made it clear he stands with Putin and his war against freedom,” Kinzinger added. “I stand with Ukraine, democracy, and the men and women willing to fight and die for their country.”
He concluded by offering his and his wife’s prayers for Benjamin Hall, a Fox News correspondent who was injured while reporting in Ukraine. “The job they do is dangerous and appreciated,” he said.
Last week, Carlson taunted the congressman to appear on his show after Kinzinger slammed him for hosting a UFC fighter who said that the Biden administration “shouldn’t be giving our tax dollars” to Ukraine.
Carlson has faced furious backlash in recent weeks for peddling Russian conspiracy theories and promoting pro-Russia and anti-Ukraine talking points.
His commentary are so aligned with Russian propaganda that the country’s state-controlled television channels have aired excerpts of his broadcasts with subtitles, and the Kremlin reportedly asked state media to highlight Carlson’s programs.