Mitch McConnell Blames Tucker Carlson For The GOP’s ‘Demonization of Ukraine’

WASHINGTON ― Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) unexpectedly ripped Tucker Carlson on Tuesday, saying the far-right political commentator was to blame for Republicans souring on helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s invasion.

Shortly after the Senate voted to advance a bipartisan bill providing billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, McConnell was asked during a press conference why it took so long to get Republicans on board with this legislation. Congress has been trying to pass a Ukraine aid bill for months, but it’s been routinely opposed by a faction of GOP members.

The Kentucky Republican said the problem largely stemmed from one person: Carlson.

“I think the demonization of Ukraine began by Tucker Carlson, who in my opinion ended up where he should’ve been all along, which is interviewing Vladimir Putin,” McConnell said, referring to Carlson’s disastrous interview with the Russian president in February.

“He had an enormous audience, which convinced a lot of rank-and-file Republicans that maybe this was a mistake,” he said of Carlson, who was let go from Fox News last year and now has a show on X, the platform previously known as Twitter.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (left) blamed Tucker Carlson for persuading Republicans to oppose aid to Ukraine.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (left) blamed Tucker Carlson for persuading Republicans to oppose aid to Ukraine. Getty Images

McConnell also blamed former President Donald Trump for delaying congressional efforts to help Ukraine. For months, with Trump’s support, House Republicans demanded that any bill providing aid to Ukraine also include border security reforms ― an issue that Trump and others were routinely using to attack President Joe Biden. So a bipartisan trio of senators, led by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), spent months crafting a bill to do just that.

But when they unveiled it, Trump intervened and personally directed GOP senators to “kill” it because he didn’t want them to hand Biden a win ahead of the November election.

“Our nominee for president didn’t seem to want us to do anything at all,” McConnell said of Trump’s tanking of the bipartisan border deal. “That took months to work our way through it.”

The result of all of these efforts, he said, was voting Tuesday to advance essentially the same foreign aid package that senators had proposed months earlier.

“It didn’t solve the border problem,” McConnell said of Tuesday’s bill, “but it certainly addressed the growing threats at the moment.”

The Senate is expected Tuesday night or possibly Wednesday to pass the $95 billion spending package that includes billions for Ukraine. The House overwhelmingly passed it Saturday, and Biden is expected to move quickly to sign it into law.


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