Fox News host Tucker Carlson clapped back at a Republican lawmaker during a Wednesday evening segment on his show after she publicly supported a policy he believes would lead the U.S. to war with Russia.
In particular, Carlson rejected Rep. Maria Salazar’s support for implementing a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine while also rejecting the Cuban-American lawmaker’s attempt to liken the situation to the late dictator Fidel Castro.
Carlson began the segment by playing a clip of Salazar enthusiastically responding, “Of course!” when asked if the U.S. should implement a no-fly zone, which would mean downing Russian planes and killing Russian pilots.
“‘I don’t know what it will mean, but you know freedom is not free,’” Tucker stated, quoting Salazar. “Now, we made fun of that answer last week when we first showed you that clip but now, what we mocked is the consensus in Washington. ‘We don’t know what’s going to happen, we’ve got to do it immediately.’ That’s the argument you’re hearing.”
Carlson then noted that war with Russia now seems “inevitable” as more leaders in Washington appear to be calling for it before bringing in Salazar.
“So, since you have called for war with Russia, how do you think that war, once it begins, would play out?” Carlson asked to set the tone for the interview.
“I think that’s a hypothetical question,” Salazar replied. “I think that we should concentrate, Tucker, on what [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy asked Congress today.”
Specifically, he called on the U.S. to implement a no-fly zone, which would undoubtedly mean war with Russia.
“I’m sorry, I can’t–and I’m in no way trying to cut you off, but I can’t let you glide over that,” Tucker interrupted. “You said we should shoot down Russian planes. That’s of course war. Since you’ve called for that–”
“I didn’t say that,” Salazar insisted.
“You just said that on the tape we played,” Tucker countered.
That quote, claims Salazar, “was taken out of context.” What she was really saying was, “of course” she knew the dire implications of a no-fly zone.
“No troops on the ground, let’s give him the MiGs and the S-300s, what he needs to defend his own airspace, sp he will create his own no-fly zone,” Salazar stated. “And that’s what I think we should have done months ago. It’s embarrassing that this guy, this president who is under the bullets, has come to Congress to beg for us to give him something we should have done a long time ago.”
“I think a lot of people sympathize with that,” he said. “Let me just say that I think a lot of people who saw President Zelenskyy’s speech today and have seen the atrocities in Ukraine feel deep sympathy for the Ukrainian people and want this to end. I’m certainly among them. But I’m wondering,” he continued before Salazar cut him off.
“I’m sure you are,” Salazar quipped. “So I am asking you, then what should we do? Ok? So what should we do then?”
“Always and everywhere, especially for the U.S. government or one of its elected representatives, act on behalf of the core interests of the United States government,” Tucker responded. “It’s really super simple.”
If the U.S. provides one side with weapons, then, he reasoned that is akin to taking part in the war.
“If the United States is providing weapons to one side in a war, how is that not participating in the war?” Carlson asked.
“I’m sorry, I’m not going to take the anti-communist lecture from anybody because of course I agree with you,” Carlson interrupted.
“But my question is if we are providing weapons to one side in a war, I think it’s fair to ask, maybe the other side would say that’s an act of war against us. And if that happens, then what next? And to not think about that seems negligent, but since you are on the Foreign Affairs Committee, I know you have thought it through. So tell me your views and what would happen next.”
Salazar replied with, “What difference does it make?”
“Tucker, we have been providing Javelins and Stingers and ammunition. We have been providing a lot of military armament, so what is the difference between that and the MiGs and the S-300s? What’s the difference?”
“Unfortunately, the United States has fallen into Vladimir Putin’s trap,” she continued. “He is the one dictating what we are going to do, what we’re not going to do.”
“So we’re letting Putin control our behavior,” Carlson said. “That seems like a loss right there.”
After noting that Russia has some 6,000 nuclear weapons, Carlson asked Salazar: “So, are we concerned at all that he might use a nuclear weapon against the United States? Is that a concern? Is that something that you consider as you recommend these policies?”
“Of course!” she responded.
Carlson then switched to immigration in reference to a bill Salazar has proposed that would “allow undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for more than five years to stay and work here without the threat of deportation,” the Tampa Bay Times reported, adding: “It also offers them a path to citizenship, but it’s a long one: They couldn’t apply for permanent residency and a green card — required before seeking citizenship — for at least 15 years.”
As many as 13 million people could be granted citizenship under that bill.