'I hate being factually wrong': Tucker Carlson owns up to spreading fake 'dead voters' story
Tucker Carlson (Screengrab)

Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson poured his heart out over his leaked text messages trashing former President Donald Trump and his lies about the 2020 election during a call-in to Tuesday's edition of Bo Snerdly's Rush Hour.

"Tucker, listen, I've had a number of people saying they read all these things in the paper -- 'you hate Trump blah, blah, blah.' But this it – does Tucker like Trump's policies, any policies of his? What's the deal with you and Donald Trump?" host Bo Snerdly queried.

"Bahahahahahahah!" Carlson cackled. "Oh, let's see. I spent four years defending his policies and I – I'm going to defend them again tonight. And actually, and I'm pretty straightforward, I'm – I love Trump. Like, as a person, I think Trump is funny and insightful, and, and I said this to Trump when he called me, you know, all wounded about those texts. That was a moment in time where I was absolutely infuriated. And I think this is in the text – and those were all grabbed completely illegitimately, in my opinion, in this court case, which I guess I'm not allowed to talk about, but I'm enraged that my private texts were pulled. But those – those particular texts were pulled at exactly – at the moment where I was texting with one of my producers because some idiot on the Trump campaign had sent us the name of these dead voters who had voted. And we went and I repeated them on air, and it turns out some of them were alive."

Seemingly surprised, Snerdly sighed, "Oh."

Carlson, however, was nowhere near finished sharing his feelings, which included repeating Trump's debunked conspiracy theories regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election:

So. I was just – I felt humiliated. Yeah. Like what? And I thought then and I think now that that election was not on the level, it was not a free and fair election. I thought that then. I think it now. And so, I was trying to – I wanted, you know, evidence. I mean, there's no way the guy got 81 – he got more votes than Barack Obama. Really? You know, who – whatever you think of Obama – I never liked Obama – but he's a really talented, very talented politician. And Joe Biden is senile and hid in his basement. Tell me how he got 81 million votes. So, I've always thought that was not on the level. And so I said to the Trump people, you know, 'you're saying the election was rigged. Send me some examples of it and I'll put it on the air.' And one of them was these dead voters. Well, it turned out some of them were still alive. And I was so mad by the incompetence of that campaign, which was completely incompetent. I mean, completely you know, I'm like the one guy who's open-minded about the election being unfair. And – and that's what they send me? Anyway. Whatever. I was mad. That was a moment in time. And I will say this. My comments on TV – I think my texts reflect who I am. And I'm vulgar in public, in private, rather, and I use, like bad language and stuff. I worked in a newsroom my whole life and my wife's always trying to improve me, which is fair, but my views are pretty transparent. I always say what I think. I can't keep track of too many lies, you know what I mean? So anyway.

Snerdly offered a defense.

"I know exactly what you mean. And people forget this, that we say things. We're human beings and we can say things in a peak of anger," he said.

"Exactly," Carlson agreed.

"And at that very moment we're saying things in a peak of anger, but it does not represent the whole body of our thoughts," Snerdly added.

"Well, that's exactly right," Carlson concurred. "And I was – I was actually even thinking about it. Makes me mad now. I reached out to this one Trump aide who's – I'm not going to name, he's a nice guy, but he's totally incompetent – and I said, 'I agree with you. There was something really wrong with this election. Send me evidence.' And then to have the voters call in and be like, 'no, I'm still alive?' Buhuhuhuhuhuhuh, I mean it was like, I'm so embarrassed and mad."

Snerdly then sympathetically reinforced Carlson's admittedly false statements:

Right, and people forget that you are on a stage. On a huge stage. And you have people whose sole purpose in life, it is, is to try to tear you down, because they oppose what you are bringing to the American people and they think that what you are bringing to the American people will hurt their chances of achieving and wielding power.

Somberly, Carlson responded, "Exactly. That's exactly right."

Snerdly continued:

And you can't afford to be wrong. You can't afford to have something so obviously – and anybody that has – there are so few people that are in that position where they are really that effective. It has – people have no idea of the pressure that people like you are under, Tucker. They also have no idea how many hours you spend researching and how many hours you spend making sure that you get it right.

Carlson responded as if Snerdly struck a nerve:

Well, that right there, right there – I hate being factually wrong. I mean, I've got a lot of opinions that you may think are stupid and maybe they are stupid and maybe I changed them at some point and I'm always transparent about that. If, you know, the facts change, my opinion changes. I think that's the way you're supposed to live. But I can't stand getting the facts wrong. That's just – there's no excuse for that. And we got it wrong. And by the way, yes we should have, I should have, I should have checked to see if those voters were actually dead. And I didn't. And I took this staffer's word for it and now that I'm saying it out loud, I mean, that's my fault. At the time, I was blaming the Trump campaign. And I was, I was livid. Buhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhhuh. I don't miss it.