Tucker Carlson conveniently ignored Fox News’ own reporting in order to falsely smear Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) as compromised by a Chinese spy.
Despite boasting that he’s the “sworn enemy of lying” and “smugness,” Carlson wrapped himself in falsehoods and smugness Wednesday night when he exploited news about Swalwell’s relationship with a Chinese spy.
Here’s the overview of the story, via Axios, which broke it:
A suspected Chinese intelligence operative developed extensive ties with local and national politicians, including a U.S. congressman, in what U.S. officials believe was a political intelligence operation run by China’s main civilian spy agency between 2011 and 2015, Axios found in a yearlong investigation.
Here’s how Politico summed up the part about Swalwell, which conservatives are trying to make hay out of:
Known alternatively as Fang Fang or Christina Fang, the woman came to know Swalwell while he was still a city council member and had stayed in his orbit while he was in Congress, allegedly assisting with fundraising for Swalwell's 2014 reelection campaign as well as helping to place an intern in his office, according to a report from Axios.
Swalwell immediately cut off contact with Fang — who is no longer in the country — when the FBI alerted him, and he has not been accused of any improper actions in his dealings with her.
While officials do not believe she received or passed on classified information, officials believed the case “was a big deal, because there were some really, really sensitive people that were caught up in the network,” one official told the outlet.
As for Swalwell, Fang reportedly took part in fundraising for the liberal congressman's 2014 reelection campaign -- although she did not make donations nor was there evidence of illegal contributions.
Another FoxNews.com article with the salacious headline, “Swalwell stonewalls on relationship with suspected Chinese spy for 3rd day” didn’t come up with anything more than the possibility that Swalwell had a sexual relationship with her. It didn’t mention that Swalwell was reportedly unmarried during the time he knew her.
But Carlson, along with other right-wingers, think this is some kind of proof of hypocrisy on Trump’s Russia collusion. Never mind that the Mueller report included a slew of troubling-to-outright-damning episodes in which multiple members of the Trump campaign, including Donald Trump, himself, sought to benefit from Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Steyn “quipped” about Swalwell doing the “bumpity-bumpity-bumpity-bumpity bumper thing” and, despite having no discernible qualifications on any facet of national security, international relations or law enforcement, he criticized the FBI for not turning Fang into a double agent. Steyn also suggested the FBI was in cahoots with Swalwell.
STEYN: So there is an aspect of this that is just drawn from the most absurd heightened notions of spy drama, but at core, there's something serious going on.
The F.B.I., for example, when they find out she is a spy, why don't they turn her? Why don't they just put them in a room in a safe house and say, okay, you're working for us now? Instead, they go to Swalwell and tip Swalwell off that his bumpity bumping with the Chinese spy has come to their attention. And he tells her and she leaves the country.
That's actually an F.B.I. scandal and a Swalwell scandal.
CARLSON: Well, that's right.
STEYN: And that's interesting to me is we have all these checks and balances, and none of them work. It's illegal for a foreign national to give a hundred bucks to a presidential campaign. But it's not illegal for a Chinese spy to be a bundler for Eric Swalwell and help take him from a no nothing councilman in San Francisco to the literal Manchurian candidate in the 2020 election.
This is a scandal, both for the F.B.I. and for Swalwell, too.
Newly-minted intel expert Steyn further claimed, despite Fox reporting otherwise, that Swalwell “has been compromised by the Chinese.” Carlson did not correct the falsehood.
While they were at it, those two phony patriots weaponized the nothingburger to demonize just about every Democrat they could think of in the time remaining in the segment.
STEYN: And in fact, [Swalwell] embodies the way the Democrat leadership has been compromised by the Chinese because whatever -- when you and Miranda [Devine] were talking about Hunter Biden's laptop, whatever you think that laptop discloses about Biden, you have to know Chairman Xi has a zillion e-mails and texts even more compromising.
CARLSON: Of course. And Nancy Pelosi defended Eric Swalwell remaining on the Intel Committee today. It's hard to believe this is happening, but it is.
While Carlson and Steyn were cooking up ways to smear Swalwell and other Democrats, they conveniently ignored that more than 3,000 Americans died of coronavirus Wednesday, a new high for the country.
As far as I’m concerned, Carlson and Steyn are far bigger threats to the U.S. and democracy than any liaison between Swalwell and a Chinese spy.
You can see Fox’s prime time priorities below, from the December 9, 2020 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
(Apologies for the poor video quality.)
Just like his hero Trump.
The only “aspect of this that is just drawn from the most absurd heightened notions of spy drama” is the aspect for which there is no evidence, I.e., the “Manchurian candidate” aspect wantonly imputed by Steyn.