- The Washington Times - Friday, June 26, 2020

Fox News host Tucker Carlson called Thursday evening for the Trump administration to consider Americans caught toppling historic monuments and statues to be domestic terrorists.

The host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” also said during his latest broadcast that the U.S. government should treat members of Antifa, an anti-fascist movement, as terrorists as well.

Mr. Carlson, whose program President Trump often mentions, offered the advice during an episode likely to catch Mr. Trump’s attention. The broadcast began by Mr. Carlson warning that the president risks being voted out of office in November, and it was immediately followed by Fox News airing an interview with Mr. Trump recorded earlier in the day.

In between, Mr. Carlson advocated for the Trump administration to crack down on the heads of Antifa, which is leaderless, along with those responsible for brazen acts of arson and vandalism that have recently taken place amid the unrest sparked by the racially charged killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody last month.

“It would change the course of this country’s future if the Justice Department rounded up the leaders of Antifa tomorrow, along with every single person caught on camera torching a building, destroying a monument, defacing a church, and put them all in shackles and then frog-marched them in front of cameras like MS-13, and call them what they actually are, domestic terrorists,” Mr. Carlson said.

“Not protesters, not civil rights activists, not CNN contributors, but domestic terrorists. That would be their new, government-approved title. Once they’re charged, it’s official, in fact. They are, literally, as a factual matter, accused terrorists, and that would change minds right away. The people destroying this country are criminals. Few are brave enough to call them that, so naturally their popularity grows,” Mr. Carlson continued.

Mr. Trump indicated during the interview aired on Fox News afterward that he was not opposed to Mr. Carlson’s suggestion.

“We’re going to get tougher and tougher, and at some point there’s going to be retribution because there has to be. These people are vandals. But they’re agitators. But they’re really, they’re terrorists, in a sense,” Mr. Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in the interview.

Floyd, 46, was killed May 25 after being forcefully restrained by members of the Minneapolis Police Department in Minnesota who have subsequently been charged with related counts.

Protest against systemic racism and police brutality have taken place worldwide in the weeks since, including in some U.S. cities where demonstrations descended into riots.

Several historic statues and monuments have been tagged with graffiti, toppled or otherwise taken down during that unrest, including several honoring former Confederate leaders.

Mr. Carlson, on his part, previously compared Americans dismantling Confederate monuments with members of the Taliban who destroyed ancient religious statues in Afghanistan.

Mr. Trump’s account on Twitter has mentioned Mr. Carlson more than 50 times since the president’s term started in January 2017, including three times this month.

Previously, Mr. Carlson revealed in March that he had met privately with Mr. Trump at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to raise his concerns about the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

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