Fox News host Tucker Carlson continued Tuesday to accuse fellow broadcaster Chuck Todd of McCarthyism for comparing a Republican senator to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The conservative commentator again spent part of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” alleging similarities between Mr. Todd and late Sen. Joe McCarthy, who infamously accused Americans during the Cold War of being communists.
For the second consecutive night, Mr. Carlson devoted a portion of his program responding to a remark Mr. Todd made Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to Sen. John Kennedy, Louisiana Republican, in light of the lawmaker accusing Ukraine of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election – an assertion that American intelligence officials have reportedly determined to be the basis of a Russian disinformation campaign.
“You realize, the only other person selling this argument outside the United States is this man, Vladimir Putin,” ” Mr. Todd told Mr. Kennedy during the “Meet the Press” interview.
Commenting during the latest episode of his primetime opinion program, Mr. Carlson alleged that Mr. Todd “accused Senator Kennedy of being an agent of Russia.”
“So, in a normal time, we would all recognize that for what it was, an embarrassing and low moment. Accusing people without evidence, under the cover of journalism of acting on behalf of a foreign government? There is a name for that, actually. It’s called McCarthyism. We went through a period where that happened. We learned nothing, apparently, or the left didn’t,” Mr. Carlson said Tuesday.
“That’s literally what it is, McCarthyism. But after calling people racist, it’s the press’ new favorite baseless allegation to throw around,” Mr. Carlson continued.
Mr. Carlson similarly attacked Mr. Todd during Monday night’s episode of his Fox News show, saying then the “Meet the Press” host “went full Joe McCarthy” on Mr. Kennedy for saying the senator was essentially repeating Mr. Putin.
Mr. Todd did not comment on Mr. Carlson’s remarks when reached by email.
The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election won by President Trump, and the Department of Justice has brought related federal criminal charges against several Russian military officers accused of hacking Democratic computer systems during the race and stealing sensitive documents later leaked online.
Intelligence officials recently briefed senators that Russia has waged a years-long effort to “essentially frame Ukraine” for Moscow’s conduct in the 2016 race, The New York Times reported last month.
Mr. Kennedy previously made waves last month after indicating it was possible that Ukraine rather than Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 race.