Fox News host Tucker Carlson has rallied to the defense of Donald Trump Jr. for retweeting a birther-style smear of Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris, arguing on Tuesday night that the presidential son was merely echoing the skepticism many black voters have of Harris.
Following Harris’ much-lauded primary debate performance last week, alt-right commentator Ali Alexander claimed that the California senator had no business commenting on racial issues because she wasn’t an “American Black” but “half Indian and half Jamaican.” Don Jr. would soon retweet—and later delete—Alexander’s post, with a spokesman saying he had simply been surprised to learn of Harris’ heritage.
According to Carlson, it was not Don Jr.’s retweet that should have sparked condemnation—but Harris’ debate performance.
“Sen. Kamala Harris clearly thinks she can become president of the United States by calling other people racists,” he said before showing a clip of Harris’ standout debate moment, in which she took former Vice President Joe Biden to task for opposing school busing during the 1970s.
“Oh, barf,” Carlson muttered after playing the clip.
Insisting that the media wants to pit “black against white” and “Kamala Harris versus Joe Biden,” Carlson claimed that real life was “far more complicated than that.” Stating that Biden’s strongest voter constituency is black voters while Harris’ is young, white and affluent, the Fox News host asserted that “many black voters appear skeptical of Kamala Harris.” (Post-debate polls, however, show Harris gaining on Biden due to a massive shift in black support.)
“One of them recently tweeted that Harris' life story doesn't bear much resemblance to that of most African Americans,” Carlson said, referencing Alexander’s tweet. “Her parents were from India and Jamaica. Donald Trump Jr. retweeted that observation, and for that, CNN denounced him as a terrifying racist.”
After showing footage of critics blasting Trump Jr. over the tweet, the conservative media star then took aim at CNN's Don Lemon for seemingly questioning whether Harris should identify herself as African-American several months ago.
“This tape has been floating around Washington, and Don Lemon apparently has been calling other anchors—even on other channels—and asking them not to replay it because he's embarrassed of it,” Carlson mockingly said. “But we think you have a right to see it and you can decide for yourself if Don Lemon is also an anti-black racist.”
During a CNN segment earlier this year, Lemon said Harris could brush away any criticism of her racial identity by saying “I’m black but I’m not African American,” noting that Jamaica isn’t America.
“Here's Don Lemon telling you that Kamala Harris is not an African American,” Carlson concluded. “He thinks it's important that you know that, and yet that's not racist because Don Lemon is a democratic voter. That's the logic of identity politics.”