Fox News host Tucker Carlson made some rather inflammatory allegations against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) regarding speculation over whether Trump would pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. But if his assertions are true, it further demonstrates why conservatives are in need of a “Popeye moment.”
During his opening monologue on Tuesday evening, Carlson made a case for pardoning Assange and former CIA agent John Kiriakou. Both men face harsh punishments for their part in revealing classified information. “Julian Assange and John Kiriakou both went to jail for telling the truth,” Carlson insisted. “Neither one stole classified documents from the US government. Neither one of them hacked into anything.”
The Fox host continued: “Julian Assange told you a lot about what the US government was doing abroad and told you everything about what the DNC was doing to rig its own primaries back in 2016.”
Carlson then explained why Kiriakou should be given clemency. “John Kiriakou, meanwhile, told the truth about what our military and our intel agencies were doing during the Iraq war. Again, you may not agree with his position, but what he said was true,” he noted.
The host alleged that McConnell threatened Trump, telling him that the Senate is more likely to convict him in the upcoming impeachment trial if he pardoned Assange.
We’re hearing tonight that neither man, particularly Julian Assange, and we don’t know if this is true, is likely to get a pardon. Why? Apparently because Republicans in the Senate, and by Republicans in the Senate we mean Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the leader of Republicans in the Senate, has sent word over to the White House: If you pardon Julian Assange, we are much more likely to convict you in an impeachment trial.
“Now is it legal to hold that over a President’s head?” Carlson asked. “We’re not lawyers, we don’t know, it’s certainly wrong. But more than that, it tells you everything about their priorities.”
Carlson continued: “What is Mitch McConnell, your designated defender in the United States Senate worrying about? He’s worrying about protecting the uniparty in Washington. Not his party, his party and the Democrat Party, in Permanent Washington.”
The host concluded by arguing that the two men were imprisoned because they exposed information that the government didn’t want the public to know.
“They’re the reason both these men have been locked up, because both these men embarrassed permanent Washington. That’s their crime. And his priority in the final hours of the Trump administration is to make certain that they remain punished for doing that. It tells you everything,” he stated.
If Carlson’s assertions are correct, it will not come as a surprise, will it? Establishment GOP lawmakers were never on Trump’s side, nor are they genuinely conservative. The last thing they would want is for people like Assange and Kiriakou to remain imprisoned because they exposed abuses carried out by the government.
Establishment Republicans can be every bit as statist as the socialist wing of the Democratic Party, depending on the issue. For them, defending government malfeasance is more important than the people knowing what the state is up to.
This scenario is yet another reason why true conservative voters need to channel their anger into something productive: Ensuring that faux conservatives in Congress are voted out in the primaries. McConnell’s ilk counts on our not showing up during the primary season. It’s how they escape dealing with the consequences of ignoring their constituents. But, if we are willing, we can change this in 2022.
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