Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell not only ruined Fox host Tucker Carlson’s efforts to smear the left as “hysterical” over the release of the so-called Nunes memo, Swalwell managed to make Carlson look like the hysterical one as he repeatedly tied Carlson to Republican efforts to undermine the rule of law.
Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee (whose Democrats vehemently opposed the memo's release), did what all Democrats and liberals on Fox should do: he reframed the discussion, went on offense and stayed there. Even better, he highlighted how Carlson, in tandem with Republicans, was serving Russian interests in supporting the release of the disputed Nunes memo.
It started with Carlson’s attempt to put Swalwell on defense with the claim that the release of the memo, also over the objections of the FBI, was no biggie because “There’s nothing in this that was classified” and “There’s no obvious reason this was classified in the first place. So why would they tell us that when they knew it wasn’t true?”
Swalwell’s response answered the question and reframed the subject to make it about Carlson’s role in the story. All without seeming obnoxious or aggressive.
SWALWELL: Good evening, Tucker. You should be concerned about this, too. It does reveal sources. You should read the memo. Just because you knew the sources beforehand because they were reported on doesn’t mean we acknowledge them in ongoing investigations.
Swalwell’s tactic worked and he continued using it successfully throughout the interview:
CARLSON: So please be precise about how it jeopardizes our national security because a lot of us are concerned about doing that and I would never want to play any role in doing that. And that’s why it’s such a serious charge…
SWALWELL: You’re playing a role in doing that right now … because we don’t acknowledge sources in ongoing [investigations] … The memo goes into Papadopoulos and Page and others that you only knew about because they were reported on…[Nunes and his GOP cohorts] gave the White House evidence in the Russia investigation. The White House are subjects of the Russia [investigation] -
You’re also hurting our country by not acknowledging the rule of law has been run over. They’re using the police to attack their enemies and they’re attacking the police because they’re under investigation.
I’ve said before that Carlson can’t debate. So it was not a huge surprise that instead of defending his position, he attacked Swalwell for not answering questions (which he had). “I gave you a bunch of answers, Tucker. You don’t like the answer, that’s the problem,” Swalwell shot back.
Then, he drove home the point even more forcefully:
SWALWELL: You’re peddling a narrative that undermines the rule of law.
These are important times in our history. Either you are supporting those that are undermining the independence of the Department of Justice and the rule of law or you’re standing firm and saying this is wrong. Tucker, I wish you were on my side because I think you know better.
You continue to support the idea that we should give suspects in criminal cases the evidence against them before we ask them any questions.
Carlson began sputtering. Finally, he asked, “In the case of today’s memo, what specifically have I espoused that empowers threats to our country?”
Swalwell’s answer probably made Carlson regret that question.
SWALWELL: You’re peddling the narrative that the Trump administration is putting out which also is the Putin narrative because they’re retweeting this with their Russian bots. If you’re on the same side as Wikileaks and Putin, … you should take a step back and wonder who’s bidding are you really doing?
CARLSON (initially speechless): I don’t even know what to say. I don’t want to explode on TV so I’m just going to end this segment now.
Watch Swalwell call out how Fox is doing Russia’s bidding above, from the February 2, 2018 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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