Tucker Carlson confessed to his producer that he ‘hated Trump passionately’, according to files unsealed by a judge on Tuesday as part of the Dominion Voting Systems defamation suit.
Dominion is suing Carlson’s network, Fox News, in a $1.6 billion case, claiming that the media company defamed the voting firm by questioning their technology and methods. Fox is fiercely contesting the allegations.
On Tuesday, Carlson’s private messages were among a trove of emails and other communications unsealed by the judge.
Carlson, one of the biggest stars of the conservative channel, texted Alex Pfeiffer on January 4, 2021, the suit claims, to say he was looking forward to a post-Trump era.
‘We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait,’ he allegedly said, according to the lawsuit.
‘I hate him passionately. I blew up at Peter Navarro today in frustration,’ he allegedly wrote, referring to the former Trump administration official.
‘I actually like Peter. But I can’t handle much more of this.’ Fox has denied Dominion’s claims, and insists many of the messages shared in the lawsuit have been taken out of context.
Tucker Carlson is seen in July 2022 with Marjorie Taylor Greene and Trump at his New Jersey golf course. Carlson in January 2021 said he hated Trump ‘passionately’
Carlson is seen in 2019 interviewing the then-president
He allegedly wrote in another text message: ‘That’s the last four years. We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isn’t really an upside to Trump.’
Carlson himself has complained on air about how news reporters appear to ‘hate Trump with an all-consuming mania.’
The former president is said to have been a huge fan of Carlson’s show, with topics covered by the Fox News host helping steer White House policies.
The text messages also showed significant discontent within Fox about the decision to call, correctly, Arizona for Joe Biden.
Carlson complained, according to the suit, that doing so was harming Fox’s share price.
Pfeiffer allegedly wrote in a November 20, 2020 email to an unidentified person that there was ‘one funny thing’ about the election voting fraud claims.
‘Dominion was used in Ohio and Florida,’ he wrote.
‘Trump won them. Did they forget to rig those or all part of the plan?’
The exchanges allegedly show host Laura Ingraham complaining about Fox calling states for Biden, saying: ‘My anger at the news channel is pronounced.’
Carlson agreed, reportedly replying: ‘It should be.’
Fox News’s headquarters, in midtown Manhattan
Rupert Murdoch, left, is pictured with Trump in 2016
He said he was equally angry at the network’s reporting of the results, and the anchors and hosts who were confirming Biden’s win.
‘We devote our lives to building an audience and they let Chris Wallace and Leland [expletive] Vittert wreck it. Too much,’ Carlson said, according to the suit.
On November 16, 2020, Ingraham texted Carlson and Sean Hannity again to complain about their employer.
‘We are all officially working for an organization that hates us,’ she wrote.
The exchange is part of a lengthy conversation among the three about how their news colleagues were hurting ratings.
Another news host, Maria Bartiromo, allegedly texted Trump’s former advisor Steve Bannon on November 10, 2020 to say she was devastated at the results.
‘Omg I’m so depressed. I can’t take this,’ she reportedly told Bannon, noting how upsetting it was to watch the ‘world move forward.’
‘I want to see massive fraud exposed. Will he be able to turn this around,’ she added, referring to Trump.
‘I told my team we are not allowed to say pres elect at all. Not in scripts or in banners on air. Until this moves through the courts.’
Bannon replied: ‘You are our fighter. Enough with the sad! We need u.’
Rupert Murdoch, owner of the network, worried privately that his stars had gone too far in their claims that the election was stolen.
In his email to CEO Suzanne Scott on January 21, 2021 – the day after Biden’s inauguration – Murdoch said he was being criticized for the network’s insistence that the election was stolen, the suit claims.
‘Still getting mud thrown at us!’ Murdoch wrote. ‘Maybe Sean and Laura went too far.’
He also asked Scott whether it was ‘unarguable that high profile Fox voices fed the story that the election was stolen and that January 6th an important chance to have the result overturned.’
Murdoch had shortly after the election predicted that Trump would fade away and become irrelevant.
‘And losing tons of viewers – but not leadership yet!’ Murdoch wrote.
‘Just have to hold our nerve and up our game! In another month Trump will be becoming irrelevant and we’ll have lots to say about Biden, Dems, and appointments – so far pretty dull.’
Maria Bartiromo (pictured) told Steve Bannon she was ‘so depressed’ by Biden’s win
A sign outside Fox’s headquarters promoting, from left: Jesse Watters, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Greg Gutfeld
After the January 6 riot, Murdoch said, according to the suit, that he felt Trump’s brand was significantly harmed.
‘His businesses now ruined!’ he said, in an email to his son Lachlan – who runs the network – and former House Speaker Paul Ryan.
‘Who is going to throw a party at one of his golf clubs or hotels? Let alone a tournament.
‘So he has more than just legal problems, bad though they are.
‘The brand is now poison! Who wants Ivanka’s fashion lines, jewelry, etc?!’
Fox News has said it was ‘proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism’.
They are contesting Dominion’s lawsuit, saying it is only to create publicity for their voting machines.
Dominion argues that the First Amendment does not allow media outlets to broadcast conspiracy theories they know are false.
‘As the dominant media company among those viewers dissatisfied with the election results, Fox gave these fictions a prominence they otherwise would never have achieved,’ Dominion state in their 441-page lawsuit.
‘With Fox’s global platform, an audience of hundreds of millions, and the inevitable and extensive republication and dissemination of the falsehoods through social media, these lies deeply damaged Dominion’s once-thriving business.
‘Fox took a small flame and turned it into a forest fire.’
Carlson and the other hosts have not responded to the publication of their messages.
Superior Court Judge Eric Davis is scheduled to preside over a trial beginning in mid-April.
The trial could stretch over five weeks.