Report: Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch Spoke with Zelensky Weeks Before Tucker Carlson Was Fired

Tucker Carlson, host of "Tucker Carlson Tonight," poses for photos in a Fox News
AP Photo/Richard Drew, Ukrainian Presidency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Fox Corporation Chair and News Corp Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch held a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky just weeks before Tucker Carlson was fired, where they discussed the Ukraine War and the anniversary of the deaths of Fox News journalists in Ukraine last March, according to a report Monday.

Semafor reported that the call was similar to one Zelensky had with Murdoch’s son, Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Corporation Lachlan Murdoch, on March 15, which Zelensky had disclosed during a national broadcast.

The conversations came just weeks before they fired Carlson, who was the network’s most outspoken critic of the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars that have gone to support Ukraine.

The report said, “Senior Ukrainian officials had made their objections to Carlson’s coverage known to Fox executives, but Zelenskyy did not raise it on the calls with the Murdochs, according to one person familiar with the details of the calls.”

Carlson has previously called Zelensky a “dictator,” according to the report.

The Washington Post reported that the elder Murdoch “was disturbed by Carlson’s stance on Ukraine.” A graphic on Carlson’s show had referred to Zelensky as a “Ukrainian pimp,” the paper said.

Semafor also reported that the New York Post and Wall Street Journal editorial pages — “Murdoch family mouthpieces” — have regularly criticized Republicans who oppose the war. The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board called DeSantis’s characterization of the war his “first mistake.”

According to the report, “more moderate pro-Ukraine members of the Republican caucus” are “not hiding their relief” at Carlson’s departure, citing Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX).

A senior Republican congressional aide told Semafor that Carlson “spooked a lot of members into not being fully supportive of Ukraine” and that his departure “probably reduces the loudest voice out there against U.S. support.”

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