On his Fox News program Friday night, Tucker Carlson said that the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump boiled down to little more than a disagreement over foreign policy.
Carlson also said that is lead impeachment prosecutor Adam Schiff truly believes some of the statements he has made about Ukraine, then Schiff is “dangerous to the country.”
“This isn’t really about a phone call that Donald Trump once made to Ukraine,” Carlson said about the trial. “It’s actually, underneath it all, a policy disagreement.”
Carlson traced the “genesis” of Trump’s impeachment to his statements during the February 2016 GOP debate.
“Trump said things that, until then, no major Republican candidate had been willing to say out loud,” Carlson said. “He called the Iraq war, for example, ‘a big fat mistake.’ He said America ought to reach an agreement with Russia rather than fighting proxy wars against them. He called the trillions of dollars we spent in the Middle East a waste.”
“Permanent Washington was enraged that Trump violated neocon orthodoxy by criticizing Middle Eastern wars and promising to de-escalate tensions with Russia,” Carlson said. “Nothing he has done before or since has made them angrier than that did.”
“It was a direct threat to their ideas and to their paycheck,” Carlson said. “So they decided to make sure he could never make good on those promises. Adam Schiff conceded as much in his closing comments today. Trump’s real sin, Schiff explained, was questioning military aid to Ukraine. Why? Because it is America’s duty to remain on the brink of war with Russia forever and indefinitely.”
“The United States has roughly 68,000 troops stationed in Europe,” Schiff told the Senate Friday in a video clip played on the show. “They serve alongside troops from 28 other countries that comprise the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO. They are holding the line against further Russian aggression.”
“In fact,” Carlson said, “the European Union has almost four times as many people as Russia does. Its economy is more than ten times as large. Russian troops haven’t made it to Europe in 75 years and they won’t be coming anytime soon. They can’t.”
“And by the way,” Carlson added, “if the Europeans were worried about a Russian invasion, they’d build an army to protect themselves. They haven’t done that because they’re not worried.”
In another video clip played by Carlson, Schiff said Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine “was a threat to the peace and security of Europe.”
“If we had not supported Ukraine in 2014, if the members of this body had not voted overwhelmingly on a bipartisan basis for military assistance to rebuild Ukraine’s military, there is no question it would have invited further Russian adventurism in Ukraine and perhaps elsewhere in the heart of Europe,” Schiff said. “It would have weakened our allies and exposed U.S. troops stationed in Europe to greater danger.”
“How exactly is this the impeachment we were promised?” Carlson asked. “Wasn’t it supposed to be about the abuse of power and the contempt of Congress? Aren’t those the charges? How did we get to the part where Russia invades Belgium?”
“Trump got the nomination and then won,” Carlson said. “But Washington still has not recovered from the shock and rather than learn from the result, they doubled down. They blamed the defeat on Russian Facebook ads that nobody saw. And in response to those ads that nobody saw, they’re demanding that America risk war with the world’s largest nuclear power.”
“We’ve mocked Adam Schiff many times in the show and we hope to in the future,” Carlson said in closing. “But on this matter, we’re deadly serious. If this guy’s public statements reflect what he actually believes, he is dangerous to the country for real.”
The core issue of the Senate impeachment trial is a phone call in July 2019, during which Trump allegedly asked Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy to “do us a favor,” reportedly asking Zelenskiy to announce an investigation into Trump’s political opponent former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who had worked for Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings.
In return for the announcement of the investigation, the White House would release financial and military aid to Ukraine. While both Trump and Zelenskiy have said there was “no pressure” applied during the phone call, an inquiry by the House of Representatives found the request constituted an abuse of power on Trump’s part.
Trump stands accused of both abuse of power and obstruction of justice for refusing to respond to subpoenas for documentation and preventing members of his administration from testifying in the November 2019 impeachment inquiry hearings.
Newsweek reached out to Schiff’s office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.