Russia Once Again Using Tucker Carlson in Its Propaganda

Russian state media outlets and government agencies have recently been using videos and statements made by Tucker Carlson on his Fox News program in their propaganda regarding Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Carlson's comments from segments where he discusses the U.S. allegedly funding bioweapons labs in Ukraine were carried by the Russian state-owned network RT on Wednesday, while the official Twitter account for the Russian Embassy in Turkey posted a clip on Thursday of the broadcaster making the claims about labs.

Fact-checkers have pointed out that the U.S. government has previously stated that labs in Ukraine existed for the purpose of researching possible epidemics, but bioweapons were never manufactured in such facilities, as Russian sources have claimed. CIA Director William Burns even recently told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia could be spreading this misinformation as a cover for launching its own possible chemical or biological attack on Ukrainian forces.

Portions of former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's recent appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight have also been shown on Russian media outlets this week, including on Channel One. In the clips, Gabbard criticizes President Joe Biden's comment that Russian President Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power."

Tucker Carlson
Russian state media has again started using comments made by Fox News host Tucker Carlson in its propaganda. Above, Carlson is seen at the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on March 29, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Getty

Russian state media had been using Carlson in its pro-Kremlin messaging in regards to Ukraine even before the military attacks were launched. The day before the February 24 invasion, RT wrote an article that said, "Carlson has the most popular cable TV show in the U.S. and his opinions influence how Americans vote." The article included a video of a Carlson monologue in which he questioned why Americans should dislike Putin.

Tucker Carlson Tonight segments featuring retired Colonel Douglas Macgregor as a guest has also been aired multiple times on Kremlin TV. During multiple appearances, Macgregor derided the sanctions placed on Russia and claimed Ukrainian forces had been losing badly.

Julia Davis, a Russia media analyst and columnist at The Daily Beast, has documented Carlson's presence on Russian state TV on her Twitter account.

On March 17, Carlson addressed the situation on his Fox News program after Republican Texas Representative Michael McCaul called his show an "organ of Russian disinformation."

"In other words, not only are we wrong—which is fine—we're disloyal Americans doing the bidding of a foreign power," Carlson said. "It's not fine. It's slander."

Carlson then accused McCaul and other Republicans who made similar comments of "talking like Joe Biden" who, Carlson said, "calls anything he doesn't like 'Russian disinformation.'"

On Thursday, BBC reporter Francis Scarr tweeted about how Vyacheslav Nokonov, a member of Russia's State Duma, had referenced Carlson.

Eric Hananoki, a reporter at Media Matters for America, shared a translated version of an article from RT citing Carlson.

Newsweek contacted Fox News for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.