Former Chess Champion Garry Kasparov Says Tucker Carlson Is a 'buffoon' Over Ukraine Conflict Comments

The Russian chess grandmaster and political activist Garry Kasparov has called Tucker Carlson a "buffoon" after the Fox News host said he was rooting for Russia in a segment on the Ukraine conflict last night.

Kasparov slammed Carlson for "proudly siding with a dictatorship that attacked his country" and suggested the Fox host thought Russia's actions were "great" because they were "to benefit Trump."

The chairman of the Human Rights Foundation made his remarks in response to a clip from the Monday broadcast of Tucker Carlson Tonight. In the footage, shared on social media, Carlson repeatedly said he didn't care about the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Speaking to the former Clinton adviser Richard Goodstein about the ongoing impeachment inquiry on his show on Monday, November 25, Carlson was quick to criticise Hunter Biden for serving on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma while his father Joe Biden was vice president.

"Trump, for all of his sins, and I'll concede some of them, has never taken close to a $1 million from a Ukrainian energy company to do nothing because his dad is the Vice President," Carlson said.

"I know Hunter Biden. I actually like Hunter Biden. But that's totally corrupt and you know it. Why is it worse to ask about it than it is to do it?"

Goodstein hit back that people were "dying on the frontlines" in Ukraine—seemingly criticising President Donald Trump's alleged decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine until an investigation into the Bidens was announced.

"Why do I care what's going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia?" Carlson responded. "And I'm serious. Why should I care?"

He then said: "And why shouldn't I root for Russia? Which I am."

Former Chess Champion Garry Kasparov
Gary Kasparov participates in a Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, hearing, focusing on the five-year anniversary of the Magnitsky Act, on Capitol Hill December 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

"Preserving democracy is important," Goodstein said. "Dick Cheney said what the Russians did was a war-like attack on the U.S."

Carlson repeatedly told Goodstein he didn't care about the Russia-Ukraine conflict in response.

Reacting to a clip of the exchange on Twitter, Garry Kasparov said: "Confession is only good for the soul if you've got one. This buffoon is proudly siding with a dictatorship that attacked his country, but since it was to benefit Trump, that's great."

As a Russian pro-democracy activist and critic of the Kremlin, Kasparov has lived in exile from Russia in New York since 2013 and was believed to have been on an assassination list with other critics of Vladimir Putin, Business Insider reported.

The former world chess champion was not the only public figure to hit out at Carlson on social media for his comments on the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

"A major prime time Fox News host saying, without reservation, that he favors Russia (authoritarian US adversary, which hacked our 2016 election) over Ukraine (fledgling democracy, US ally and victim of Russian aggression)," The Daily podcast host Michael Barbaro tweeted. "This is.....really something."

Former congresswomen Katie Hill said: "If anyone else said this Fox would spend hours calling them traitors. Reagan is legit rolling around in his grave."

The Rhode Island Democratic Rep. David Cicilline simply tweeted: "Tucker said the quiet part out loud tonight."

At the end of his show on Monday, Carlson rowed back on his earlier remarks, seemingly preempting a social media backlash.

Before he handed over to Sean Hannity at the end of his show, Carlson said: "Earlier in the show I noted that I was rooting for Russia in the contest between Russia and Ukraine, and of course I'm joking. I'm only rooting for America."

Former Chess Champion Garry Kasparov Says Tucker Carlson Is a 'buffoon' Over Ukraine Conflict Comments | U.S.