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THE OTHER SIDE: They left the dogs—The Tucker Trump Show

I don’t know if Draft Kings wants to take the action, but I’m betting that The Tucker Trump Show went a long way in reassuring Donald Trump that FOX was still with him.

It was like an unexpected slap across the face. Whapp! That’s what The Tucker Trump Show of April 2023 on FOX News felt like. Whatever I thought was going on in our universe, however I saw the world around me, gone! Blown apart. Sayonara. Whether it was what actually had happened in Afghanistan or what I imagined was the rapidly intensifying and pressing problem of the climate crisis, thanks to Tucker Carlson and his “forget I ever said what I said about you,” more than an hour-long interview of—actually listening to—Donald Trump, well the two of them completely and utterly boggled the mind. Until I figured out what was happening.

It’s important to know that pretty much everything about The Tucker Trump Show was about pretending: pretending that Tucker Carlson hadn’t thought—and hadn’t said to his FOX-mates—that Donald Trump was a pretty terrible human being, and that, all the while he was saying nice things about Donald Trump on television, deep down, what he would never ever admit to his audience and the world, or say directly to Donald Trump, was that he hated him.

It’s darn near impossible that Donald Trump had not seen all the reporting about the Dominion Voting Machine lawsuit against FOX News. I mean it had everything to do with his Stop The Steal delusion and the continuing lies his lawyers, Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell, spread about Dominion machines changing Trump votes to Biden votes. And if he truly had not read the transcripts Dominion provided, he surely saw the reporting in Forbes Magazine. After all, hadn’t he spent all that time and energy trying to move up on Forbes’ list of the wealthiest men?

As long as I can remember, Forbes Magazine was “the” magazine of the wealthy, the conservatives, and the Republicans. Hadn’t they used the tag-line “Capitalist Tool!” Forget the so-called liberal news outlets like The New York Times or The Washington Post, you could expect them to highlight the internal FOX News documents. But even Forbes put Tucker Carlson at the very top of their latest list: “The Most Explosive Comments Fox News Stars — Carlson, Ingraham, Hannity — And Murdoch Made Off-Camera About Trump And The 2020 Election.”

Forbes wrote:

“Hundreds of pages of court documents have been unsealed as part of Dominion’s defamation suit, which accuses Fox News of pushing fraud claims involving its voting machines after the 2020 election despite knowing those claims were false.
“Anchor Tucker Carlson, who’s now coming under fire for downplaying the January 6 attacks, said in court filings the Dominion fraud claims were ‘insane’ and ‘absurd’ and said far-right attorney Sidney Powell, who pushed the claims, was ‘poison,’ an ‘unguided missile’ and ‘dangerous as hell’ and he ‘hope[s] she’s punished.’

“Carlson also said he ‘had to make’ the Trump Administration disavow Powell’s comments, calling her a ‘nut,’ and said in a text message, ‘Sidney Powell is lying’ and called her a ‘f–king b-tch.’

“Carlson called former President Donald Trump ‘a demonic force, a destroyer’ and said, ‘What he’s good at is destroying things … He’s the undisputed world champion of that’ when an unknown person Carlson was texting with brought up the ex-president’s failed business ventures in January 2021. ‘I hate him passionately,’ Carlson said about Trump, adding in a January 2021 text message …” (Emphasis added.)

And so, to get his hour’s worth of free primetime television on FOX News, all Donald Trump had to do was pretend he didn’t know that Tucker Carlson despised him—with the added benefit of knowing how it must have pained Tucker to keep smiling as he appeared to agree with everything the former President said. Not a bad deal for someone running for President.

As for Tucker, the main thing he could not do was let on that he was aware that a good deal of what Donald Trump was saying was bat-shit crazy.

It was a little bit like watching two rattlesnakes trying as hard as they could to pretend they were really sweet bunny rabbits getting ready to help a bunch of poor kids celebrate Easter.

Let’s start with Afghanistan. I thought I had a pretty good handle on what had happened there. To more effectively fight our mutual enemy, the Russian invaders, we began by arming the Mujahideen, an Afghani coalition of the Northern Alliance and tribal militias. After Russia withdrew in defeat, the Mujahideen fought amongst themselves, paving the way for the religiously fanatic Taliban to gain ascendancy. We then arrogantly believed we could bribe and/or coerce a variety of corrupt local, then national, officials to effectively fight the Taliban. While, at the same, we embarked on what we imagined was nation-building: trying to transform a rural, tribal-based agrarian economy that encompassed a thriving heroin trade into a modern Western-style democracy—with rights for women. So much wasted money on a manufactured army that never matched the crazed militancy of the Taliban. So much American and Afghan blood, and sadly, after multiple failures over many, many years, we realized our time had come—abandoning the women and children and watching as the Taliban rushed back in to rule the land once more.

Unfortunately, there’s now an ongoing political game amongst the two major political parties to assign blame for the debacle that was America’s ultimate acceptance of defeat and chaotic departure from the Afghan battlefield. But, the reality is, as factcheck.org explains: “President Joe Biden and his predecessor, Donald Trump, were both eager to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and end what Biden referred to in his Aug. 16 speech as ‘America’s longest war.’” (Emphasis added.)

But fact-checks be damned. Donald Trump used his Tucker time to amplify the claim he offered us on April 6, 2023 on his Truth Social account:

Donald Trump’s April 6, 2023 posting on Truth Social responding to Defense Department’s review of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

And so, Donald Trump offered Tucker Carlson his expanded version of what happened during the Afghanistan withdrawal. Which—no surprise—begins with Biden and the Democrats. It’s never easy to transcribe these interviews without a mistake or two, but here’s a very close approximation:

TRUMP: “What they’re doing is weaponizing the system, and there’s never been anything like it and it’s all disinformation, You see, the other day Afghanistan, uh one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. I think the most embarrassing moment that this country has ever had frankly, the way we got out, not the getting out.” (Emphasis added.)

Of course, nothing is ever simple in Trumpovia. Because Donald Trump quickly remembered what he’s supposed to be against: He’s against the Deep State’s involvement overseas, against globalization, opposed to helping Ukraine, and he pretty much hates NATO. So, before he criticizes Biden for getting out of Afghanistan, it’s always necessary to clarify that getting out of Afghanistan is also what he wanted:

TRUMP: “We had to get out. It was ridiculous to be there. And I had that so good, so tight, so tough. I spoke to the leader, Abdul. I said, Abdul, if you do anything, you’re gonna get hit really hard. Literally, I, even he said

“But so why why he goes why oh why do you send me a picture of my house?

“I said you have to figure that one out Abdul.”

Does anybody remember Ethel Merman? Or, for that matter, Irving Berlin? How about “Annie Get Your Gun?” Ethel Merman sang Donald Trump’s song before he did:

Anything you can do, I can do better.
I can do anything better than you.
No you can’t.
Yes I can.
No you can’t.
Yes I can.
No you can’t.
Yes I can, yes I can.

TRUMP: “But we didn’t have one death in 18 months. He knew. Not one death, and then to see the way we got out. Like we were surrendering, taking the military out first, leaving $85 billion worth of equipment behind, giving up Bagram. I was going to keep Bagram. I was getting out, but not for Afghanistan. It’s one hour away from where China makes its nuclear weapons. It’s one of the biggest Air Force bases in the world. I think the biggest. With the runways that go 10,000 feet, I was keeping that because of China, not because of Afghanistan. And they left everything. They left at the, the dark of night, they left the lights on, they left the dogs, by the way, you know, the people, they left the dogs.”

CARLSON: “They left the dogs?”

TRUMP: “They left the dogs. Everyone, you know, the dog lovers. And you got a lot of them. I love dogs. You love dogs. But they left the dogs. People said, ‘What, one of the first questions I got, what did they do with the dogs?’ Mostly German shepherds. They left them. What they did, the way they got out, was so horrible.”

CARLSON: “Okay.”

TRUMP: “Everybody knows, that was their plan. That had nothing to do with me. I was getting out too. We would have gotten out with strength and dignity.”

(Emphasis added.)

So, Tucker Carlson, who once imagined himself a journalist, somehow managed to conveniently forget exactly what it was that Donald Trump certainly never wanted to remember. Tucker was just unable to remember that massively important part of our experience in Afghanistan: the Trump peace Agreement of February 29, 2020. Officially known as “the Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban and the United States of America,” it called for the complete withdrawal of American forces and a timeline for American forces to leave:

Part One, Section C of U.S.-Taliban Peace Agreement signed on February 29, 2020. Highlighting added.

Yes, indeed, the United States, led by President Donald Trump, without even bothering to include our Afghan allies in the process, offered the Taliban a timetable for our withdrawal. And we agreed to withdraw completely from five of our military bases.

Oh, and what proved to be disastrous for the Biden withdrawal, President Trump agreed to release the most dangerous of Taliban prisoner: seasoned guerrilla fighters all the more motivated by their imprisonment to extract vengeance on their American occupiers and, of course, on the Afghan allies of the United States. Someone—in the Trump White House I’m guessing—made the brilliant decision to brand this prisoner release as “a confidence building measure.”

Part One, Section C of U.S.-Taliban Peace Agreement signed on February 29, 2020. Highlighting added.

It turns out there were some substantial benefits that came as a result of Tucker Carlson’s egregious journalistic malpractice. Yes, from his decision not to burden the former president with annoying facts. Because freed from any accountability or fact-checking, this free-range Trump offered up some fabulous gold-plated nuggets, breaking news stuff that we journalists can only dream about.

Let’s first acknowledge the remarkable, “They left the dogs!”

I must admit I have often written about the Afghan War; about the corrupt Afghan politicians with their luxury estates in Kabul and vacation homes around the world; about the incompetent and untrustworthy police and army personnel who routinely extorted money from poor villagers; about the billions in American dollars that managed to magically disappear. But, shame on me, I never wrote about the dogs. I obviously missed their importance in the overall story of America’s war in Afghanistan: the brave German shepherds who never made it onto the giant transport planes rushing to take to the air. They obviously played a more important role in the Trump movie version of the Afghan War than the prisoners he released or the timetable and withdrawal he negotiated—a deal that bound the Biden Administration.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but, these days, you’re likely to be bombarded by TV ads for Draft Kings, Caesar’s SportsBook, FanDuel, or BetMGM. Nowadays, you can bet on anything 24/7 in an instant. I wonder if Draft Kings offered the opportunity to bet on how much crow Tucker would have to eat.

It began with Tucker’s intro:

“Good evening and welcome to Tucker Carlson Tonight, a rare venture outside the studio for us coming to you from a wet and windy Palm Beach, Florida, right outside, across the water actually from Mar-a-Lago.

“We spent the day there talking to former President Donald Trump. It was his first interview since he was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court exactly one week ago. The Republican front-runner for president arrested by a Democratic prosecutor on political grounds. Something like that has never happened. And we wanted to hear from the man who experienced it. The conversation went in a lot of different directions, heavily on foreign policy. An amazing, really an amazing conversation. Here’s how it began. ‘Mr. President, thank you for having us.’” (Emphasis added.)

Setting the tone, a willing Yes Man, so grateful to get that “amazing, really amazing conversation.” He is quickly rewarded with “They left the dogs” scoop. Now, in today’s highly competitive TV news game, getting one scoop is amazing. Getting two scoops is incredible. Three, well, that’s stupendous. Four, I’ve not sure there are words for it.

Then there was Trump on Putin and Ukraine:

“I think Putin, who would have never gone into Ukraine when I was there, would have never, I talk to him about it often, would have never, ever done that. When he saw that I wasn’t there and he saw these fools, these stupid people, and think of that, the way they left Afghanistan and nobody was fired. I fired a lot of people because if they didn’t do a good job at the farm, I’d put some of them in.” (Emphasis added.)

Could this be the beginning of a major-league FOX News comeback? Talk about patience, about biting your tongue. It couldn’t have been easy as free-range Trump went on and on about how Putin would never have gone into Ukraine under his watch. When Tucker, of course, knew that Russia was, in fact, in Ukraine all during the time Donald Trump was in office.

You’ve got to think someone in his administration—maybe Rex Tillerson, his Secretary of State, or James Mattis, his Secretary of Defense, or maybe even Mike Pompeo at the CIA—had given the president a quick heads-up short history of Ukraine. Maybe before their 2018 meeting in Helsinki. Or at least before his perfect call with new President Zelenskyy when he tried to bribe Zelenskyy with the missiles Ukraine needed to fight the Russians in exchange for dirt on Hunter and Joe Biden.

Hopefully, someone had mentioned even in passing that Crimea was Ukraine, explaining what happened in 2014. Maybe to prove it, they showed him the entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica: “… heavily armed pro-Russian separatists seized government buildings in Crimea and, with the support of Russian troops, declared independence from the central government in Kiev. Russia formally annexed Crimea in March 2014, a move that was broadly criticized in the West as a gross violation of international law.”

But Tucker, by not reminding the former President about Crimea, well, he got himself even more scoops:

CARLSON: “Let me ask, you talk[ed] to Putin about Ukraine, what did you say to him?”

TRUMP: “I could see that he loved it. And I said …”

CARLSON: “He loved Ukraine.”

TRUMP: “He considers it to be a part of Russia.”

CARLSON: “Yeah.”

TRUMP: “I said, not when I’m president. We had a very good relationship. He was, I mean, look, I was the worst thing that ever happened to him. I closed up his pipeline. You never heard the words Nord Stream 2 until I came along. Nord Stream 2 was their pipeline.” (Emphasis added.)

Wow, who knew that Putin loved Ukraine? Imagine that! He loves the nation he’s bombing to smithereens each and every day?

And did Tucker get Donald Trump to tell us that the United States had something to do with the explosion at the Nord Stream pipeline? If that wasn’t enough, we learned that Donald Trump would have made some important deals, maybe for some minerals, if it wasn’t for the “Russia Russia Russia” investigation:

“And I had a great relationship with him, but it was very tough because they had a fake Russia investigation. And I told them, and he told me, he said, ‘it’s very hard for us to deal, don’t you think?’ I said, ‘very hard.’ Because we have a fake investigation that turned out to be a fake for two years that went on. And we could have done very well with Russia. They have great minerals. They have great things that we want. We could have. And they need the money. And they need other things. But that interfered.

“That was a terrible thing. And that was actually a treasonous thing to do. Those people should have been arrested. They made it up. They made up a problem with Russia that didn’t exist. Now they’ve all admitted it didn’t exist. It was just onto the next one.”

Well, if there’s one thing Putin knows a lot about, it’s arresting people.

So, Tucker got Nord Stream, and then we learned Russia has minerals, and then maybe one of the biggest scoops of all: You know how these last few years so many in Washington, and of course all of the TV News commentators, have been debating which of the foreign nations poses the greatest threat to America with Russia and China, the two most powerful foes, at the top of the list, and the recent nuclear power, North Korea, coming up fast? Well, former President Trump knows something they don’t:

“I often say—they said to me the other day, one of your fellow journalists said, ‘who’s the biggest problem, sir? Is it China? Could it be Russia? Could it be North Korea?

‘No,’ I said ‘the biggest problem is from within. It’s these sick, radical people from within.’” (Emphasis added.)

Forget the foreigners. The danger’s not over there, but here. We have the most to fear from the Americans. Not just any Americans but “these sick, radical people.” Meet The Press and Face The Nation, eat your heart out.

You have to give Tucker credit. He’s persistent. After a commercial break, he tried again to talk foreign policy:

CARLSON: “[W]e’re here to interview the former president and now the Republican front runner, Donald Trump. While the rest of us has spent the last two and a half years arguing about systemic racism and trans rights and other ephemera, other imaginary things, America’s position globally has eroded so fast it defies belief. But Donald Trump has noticed things have really changed since he left office …

“You said at the time when you were president that going to war with Russia, either hot war or cold war, would drive Russia into an alliance with China. That would displace us as the most powerful nation.”

TRUMP: “I did. But we have a bigger problem. The bigger problem is the weaponry. The weaponry today is so powerful. This isn’t like Second World War, where we have army tanks running around shooting each other. This is weapons the likes of which the world has never seen before. They have them and we have them.

“And China has them less, but within five years China will have equal to us. China, I’m talking about nuclear. China has the beginnings of a very big, very powerful nuclear. They’re short five years, they had started much later. Russia and us are comparable. Massive power. Massive. And that’s one of the things more than people understand.”

CARLSON: “More than people understand.”

TRUMP: “Yeah.”

CARLSON: “Were you surprised?”

TRUMP: “They understand the power. If you look at Hiroshima, Hiroshima, some people call it. If you look at Nagasaki, you look at those two events took place many many years ago. I multiply that power times 500. That’s what you’re talking about. Where it actually melted the granite. You know granite is unmeltable by blow torches.”

CARLSON: “Yeah.”

TRUMP: “But the granite, if you look at the granite areas, it’s like water that got hardened like an ice skating rink. It melted the granite. If you look at that and you multiply it by times 500, that’s what you’re talking about.

“When I listen to people talk about global warming, that the ocean will rise into the next 300 years by one-eighth of an inch. And they talk about this as our problem. Our big problem is nuclear warming, when nobody even talks about it. The environmentalists talk about all this nonsense in many cases.” (Emphasis added.)

This prompted yet another Trumpovian moment. Because, of course, now that he’s running again, maybe there are a few Maga-ites who like nature, and birds and fish:

TRUMP: “Look, I’m an environmentalist also, I guess, in my own way, because I’ve done a good job with the environment. But nobody talks about nuclear. The problem. The problem we have, the biggest problem we have in the whole world, it’s not global warming. It’s nuclear warming.

“And all it takes is one madman and you’re going to have a problem the likes of which the world has never seen. And it’s only a matter of seconds. You don’t have to wait two to three hundred years for it to happen.”

CARLSON: “So what you’re saying is demonstrably true. Why is this not something our leaders talk about or the press talks about?”

TRUMP: “Because I don’t think they’re smart. I don’t think they get it. Putin got it. I would talk to him about it all the time.” (Emphasis added.)

Kudos to Tucker. Committed to digging himself out of the I Hate The Demonic Trump Hole. No quibbling. No disruptive fact-checking. Not a hint that when it comes to global warming and the rising oceans, the former President might be off by a factor of 270 years and 10 to 12 inches:

2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Courtesy of NOAA. Highlighting added.

Were you one of the lucky ones who watched as the former president of the United States spilled the beans on Nuclear warming? Where’s Draft Kings when you need them? I’m betting none of you ever heard that expression before. Who knew so many of the world’s leading scientists have gotten the season wrong? Remember all that research about Nuclear Winter? No? Well, back to Britannica about what nuclear war could bring:

“These fireballs would ignite huge uncontrolled fires (firestorms) over any and all cities and forests that were within range of them. Great plumes of smoke, soot, and dust would be sent aloft from these fires, lifted by their own heating to high altitudes where they could drift for weeks before dropping back or being washed out of the atmosphere onto the ground. Several hundred million tons of this smoke and soot would be shepherded by strong west-to-east winds until they would form a uniform belt of particles encircling the Northern Hemisphere from 30° to 60° latitude. These thick black clouds could block out all but a fraction of the Sun’s light for a period as long as several weeks. Surface temperatures would plunge for a few weeks as a consequence, perhaps by as much as 11° to 22° C (20° to 40° F). The conditions of semidarkness, killing frosts, and subfreezing temperatures, combined with high doses of radiation from nuclear fallout, would interrupt plant photosynthesis and could thus destroy much of the Earth’s vegetation and animal life. The extreme cold, high radiation levels, and the widespread destruction of industrial, medical, and transportation infrastructures along with food supplies and crops would trigger a massive death toll from starvation, exposure, and disease. A nuclear war could thus reduce the Earth’s human population to a fraction of its previous numbers.”

Could it be that Donald Trump, whose company has been building hotels all over the world, saw something these brilliant scientists must have missed in Hiroshima—yes, some people call it Hiroshima: “I multiply that power times 500. That’s what you’re talking about. Where it actually melted the granite. You know granite is unmeltable by blow torches.” Melted granite. Bingo. Nuclear warming.

Still digging out of that hole, Tucker Carlson needs us to know that Donald Trump understood far more about foreign policy than those of us distracted by issues like racism and transgender rights:

CARLSON: “We spent more than an hour with Donald Trump today and we were struck throughout the course of the conversation, how his grasp of foreign policy, this man who was supposedly stupid, his understanding of world affairs is so much more nuanced and sophisticated and pro-American than the moronic neocons currently in charge, it was remarkable …

“Let’s send all our ammo to Ukraine. Zelenskyy’s like Churchill. Okay. Trump disagrees with that. And some of the stories he told us from his time as president were amazing. Trump and Chairman Xi having chocolate cake at Mar-a-Lago. That’s the setup, here’s the payoff.” (Emphasis added.)

TRUMP: “We’re having dinner at Mar-a-Lago, and he wanted to be at Mar-a-Lago. We had a great weekend. But we’re having dessert now, beautiful chocolate cake. At Mar-a-Lago, he had his people. I had mine. He was telling me stories about China, the history of China. It was very amazing. It’s got an amazing 5,000 years, amazing history.

“And President Obama didn’t go over the red line, and because of that, Russia took over Syria, and there’s a whole big thing, right? You know that. Obama would have done what he said he was going to do because they were killing children. They were killing children with gas bombs by the hundreds, by the thousands in Syria.

“And he said, ‘If that happens again,’ and it happened a number of times and he still never went over the line. But I did. So I shot 57 missiles. Almost every one of them hit into a military area, which had a lot of planes, wiped out I got a lot of planes, also had Russian soldiers, by the way.

“You know, they say I was so nice to Russia, right? I killed the pipeline. I sadly killed a lot of Russian soldiers, that 500 group, because they were doing things that they weren’t supposed to.

“Nobody writes that, and I don’t want them to write it. I’m not proud of it, but we did that, as you know. But we shot approximately 57 missiles in …

“[Xi] had an incredible, I’m not allowed to say it, because it’s very impolite and very politically incorrect. A beautiful, female interpreter. She was very beautiful. Today, if you say it, they’ll say, ‘This is terrible, you’re not allowed to say that.’ But she was very professional. She spoke every word for him, very professional …

“But I said to him, a general came up and said, ‘Do we do it now?’ I said, ‘Yeah, you have to do it now.’ So I gave the order during dinner. Then I said, ‘Well, do I tell him?’ Because they’re very closely associated with Syria. Do I tell him, ‘Now?’ Or do I wait till he finds out after dinner? Because you have about 28 minutes before they hit.

“So I said, ‘President, we’ve just fired approximately 57 missiles into Syria, into a base. The missiles are on their way right now.’ He looked at me and goes, ‘Repeat.’ That’s the only time he’s ever said it. So I think he speaks English. The only word. He never said hello or goodbye. He only said, he only dealt through an interpreter. The only word I ever heard him say was ‘repeat.’ That’s an unusual word.”

That’s what we learned about China. But what about Russia:

TRUMP: “Russia right now is making massive amounts of ammunition. Sounds simple, right? They’re making massive beyond anything they’ve ever made before. We don’t have any ammunition. We’ve given it to Ukraine. We’re not prepared to fight. I rebuilt our military. New planes, new tanks, new everything. They’ve taken the military that I’ve rebuilt and they’ve given it all to Ukraine. I mean massive amounts.” (Emphasis added.)

In case FOX viewers missed the importance of what The Trump/Tucker Conversation had accomplished, Tucker was kind enough to provide a re-cap the next night:

“So the takeaway from the interview we did with Trump yesterday … was whatever you think of his answers, the conversation was about real topics. It was not about global warming or systemic racism or trans rights. It was about nuclear war, the U.S. dollar and its strength against other currencies, our trade balance, the things that actually define a country. They told you he was crazy for all these years, but why is he the only one talking about these things?” (Emphasis added.)

Why indeed? Lucky for us, Tucker still had more to offer. First, back to Nord Stream:

CARLSON: “By the way, this administration just committed the single most profound act of environmental terrorism blowing up Western Europe’s natural gas pipeline and sending more CO2 into the atmosphere than has ever been emitted into the atmosphere. Huh, they won’t admit that they did that, they did do it. We asked Donald Trump who he thinks did it. We’ll show you his response in just a moment …”

Well, it took more than a moment, because Tucker had additional guests, and FOX had additional commercials, but eventually here’s what we learned:

CARLSON: “So the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline, the natural gas pipeline that carried, well, natural gas from east to Western Europe was the single most profound act of environmental terrorism in history. It released more deadly CO2 into the atmosphere. It was also an attack on our NATO allies. Our NATO allies were the beneficiaries of the natural gas pipeline. Germany, which is the core of European NATO, suffered.

“So the Biden administration was talking about how much it loves NATO, attacked NATO, and they did it. They promised to carry it out. They haven’t really denied that they did it. So during an interview with Donald Trump yesterday, we thought we’d ask, who does he think did it? We previewed the answer last night. Here’s the full exchange:

CARLSON: “Who blew up the Nord Stream pipeline?

TRUMP: “I don’t want to get our country in trouble, so I won’t answer it. But I can tell you who it wasn’t, was Russia. How about when they blamed Russia, they said Russia blew up their own pipeline. You got a kick out of that one, too. It wasn’t Russia. So I won’t answer the question only ’cause I don’t wanna get our country—

CARLSON: “Yeah.”

TRUMP: “—any deeper than they already are, but it’s how a war starts. We have the most incredible equipment. I rebuilt our whole military. We have things that are, you can do anything. We’re equipped to do anything, But I refuse to say it because I want our country to be pristine. But it was, you know in many ways, blowing it up was very bad because it really created a lot of problems for Europe in terms of the cost of energy.

CARLSON: “Oh yeah.”

TRUMP: “But they shouldn’t have ever been … I had that pipeline stopped, Nord Stream 2, I had it stopped. Totally stopped. When Biden came in, he approved it and they immediately started the finishing action. I had Nord Stream … cause I said, ‘For Germany and Europe to get their energy from Russia’ … that was when I said, I sent Angela Merkel the flag, I said to her, ‘the white flag of surrender.’

“She said, ‘But why, but why do you do that?’

“I said, ‘You’ve been fighting Russia for many years. If you ever have to fight with Russia, and they control energy, you might as well just take the white flag of surrender,’ and that’s what I did … So that was blown up and very dangerous to do it, but I think most people know who did it.”

CARLSON: “So once we start blowing up other people’s critical infrastructure, is there a concern ours could get blown up in return?”

TRUMP: “Well, I think it’s much more than infrastructure you’re talking about. Look, we could end up in World War III over this whole thing. Forget about pipeline. We are closer, I believe it’s the most dangerous period of time in history. Number one, because we have people on top that are incompetent. That’s number one. And again, China’s fine if you know how to deal. Russia, if you know how to deal. Russia wasn’t going into Ukraine with me. China wasn’t going into Taiwan with me. I mean, now all you see is China, with ships all over the place and sending airplanes and bombers.

“That wasn’t happening with me. He knew you can’t do it. And also, Russia knew you can’t do it. They would have never done it. The most dangerous period of time, because of weaponry, because of nuclear, because of weaponry, most dangerous period of time in the history of our country and in the history of the world right now. And we have an incompetent person at the top.” (Emphasis added.)

I don’t know about you, but if you followed the Dominion v. FOX lawsuit, you know that everything FOX did was about money. About keeping its MAGA audience, and keeping their numbers up so they could charge top dollar for commercials. Once they called Arizona for Biden, FOX quickly learned that telling the truth about the 2020 election, about Dominion and Smartmatic and the Stop The Steal lies peddled by Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell just wouldn’t work in Trumpovia. And so, FOX agreed to a $787.5 million settlement with Dominion rather than having to say on air that they had repeatedly lied and were sincerely sorry. Rather than having to admit to their viewers that Tucker and Maria and Lou and all the other FOXers had played them for fools.

I don’t know if Draft Kings wants to take the action, but I’m betting that The Tucker Trump Show went a long way in reassuring Donald Trump that FOX was still with him. And that they’re more than willing to broadcast a whole new set of lies as we creep our way toward 2024. And I’m betting in the eyes of FOX execs that Tucker went a long way in paying off his share of the $787.5 million.

And, as for me, if only I could go back in time, and write about the shepherds. To redress that canine grievance. Yes, I’m really sorry we left the dogs. Because, I, too, love dogs.

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THE OTHER SIDE: The king is not dead — not really

Well, in one fell swoop, the new conservative majority—it might be more accurate to call them the new MAGA majority—betrayed originalism and textualism.

THE OTHER SIDE: Project 2025 — the road to Purgatory

I should warn you, what you are about to read may very well be hazardous to your mental health. After all, there has got to be a limit to the brain’s ability to process shameless hypocrisy.

THE OTHER SIDE: The Supremes

Born to segregated white America, it was no wonder that for so many weaned on 1950s "Father Knows Best" delusions, The Supremes, with the words of Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, and Edward Jr. Holland, offered a far more accurate assessment of what life was really like.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.