Tucker Carlson Explains 'Race Politics' Not Behind 'Crazy' Buffalo Shooter

Tucker Carlson says the gunman who shot and killed 10 Black people in Buffalo over the weekend was "crazy" and is being used by Democrats to disparage conservatives.

The Fox News personality made the comments during his program Monday, saying the suspected shooter's "manifesto" amounted to deranged ramblings and was not a political statement. Police have described the mass shooting as an act of "racially motivated violent extremism" that left 10 dead and three others injured.

Before being taken into custody by police for the shooting, 18-year-old Payton Gendron left behind a trail of racist social media posts. He also reportedly authored a 180-page manifesto saying the attack was motivated by the "Great Replacement Theory," a racist conspiracy theory that claims elites are seeking to replace white people culturally and economically with people of color.

The theory has motivated four mass shootings. Carlson, as well as other conservative political and media figures, have been accused of pushing a toned-down version of the theory that's received new scrutiny following the shooting.

However, Carlson said the reaction to the massacre reveals a "broader ruthlessness and dishonesty of our political leadership," particularly what he called an effort by Democrats to use the shooting for political gain.

"Professional Democrats had begun a coordinated campaign to blame those murders on their political opponents," said Carlson.

He said that Democrats have tied Gendron's alleged shooting to former President Donald Trump, "Trumpism" and have called for suspending the First Amendment. The show cut to clips of prominent New York Democrats reacting to the shooting, including a clip of New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New York Attorney General Letitia James saying "hate speech" is not protected by the First Amendment.

Tucker Carlson
Fox News host Tucker Carlson does not believe race played a factor in the mass shooting that took place in Buffalo, New York, over the weekend. Inset Payton Gendron . JANOS KUMMER/GETTY/ Erie County District Attorney's Office

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday took direct aim at Carlson and Fox News for giving a platform for "replacement theory," calling it a "a poison that's being spread by one of the largest news organizations in our country."

"In a craven quest for views and ratings organizations, like Fox News have spent years perfecting the craft of stoking cultural grievance and political resentment that nearly mirrors the messages found in replacement theory," Schumer said in a speech in front of the Senate.

Republican Representative Liz Cheney, who has become a critic of her party, also reacted to the shooting with a tweet saying GOP leaders have enabled racism.

The FBI issued a statement Monday evening saying the attack was motivated by racism.

"I want to be clear, for my part, from everything we know, this was a targeted attack, a hate crime, and an act of racially motivated violent extremism," FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.

When asked for a response, Fox News told Newsweek that Carlson addressed the criticism on his show.

The host said Gendron was mentally ill, pointing to how he was temporarily taken into custody under a state mental health law for saying he wanted to commit a murder-suicide.

Carlson on Monday insisted Gendron wasn't motivated by politics, and instead by severe mental illness. While acknowledging the racism in Gendron's writings, Carlson said what he wrote does "not add up to a manifesto."

"Gendron's letter is a rambling pastiche of slogans and internet memes, some of which flatly contradict one another," said Carlson. "The document is not recognizably left-wing or right-wing, it's not really political at all. The document is crazy. It's the product of a diseased and unorganized mind."

Calling "race politics" a "sin," Carlson said Democrats are now using the shooting as a pretext for censorship.