Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson was quite outspoken in opposition to any sort of U.S. involvement in that potential conflict between those two nations, which included pushback against the over-the-top demonization of Russia by the Biden administration and its media allies.
In the midst of that, it appeared that the Twitter account of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin retweeted and then deleted a screenshot of Carlson presenting the Russian view of things, an act that was subsequently explained away as a “mistake” by an aide, the Washington Examiner reported.
Retweeted, then deleted
The accidental retweet appears to have occurred Monday morning and it featured a screenshot from one of Carlson’s programs last week in which the chyron stated that “Putin just wants to keep his western border secure.”
Politico national security reporter Alex Ward noticed the retweet and highlighted it with a couple of tweets of his own, drawing particular attention to the fact that Sec. Austin’s official account had shared the screenshot of Carlson offering a purported legitimate reason for Putin’s aggression.
Within less than 10 minutes after Ward had pointed out Austin’s retweet of a claim that most certainly isn’t in line with the Biden administration’s narrative of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, however, it had already been deleted.
About a half-hour later, Ward took to Twitter again to reshare his own screengrab showing the Sec. Austin retweet, only this time to also include an explanation for what had occurred by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
According to Ward, Kirby said the retweet of the Carlson screenshot “was a fat finger mistake by one of our social media guys. He undid it immediately.”
— Alex Ward (@alexbward) February 28, 2022
Carlson the center of controversy for Biden admin, media allies
To be sure, Tucker Carlson is no fan of the Biden administration or Sec. Austin — and the feeling is almost assuredly mutual, given the intense controversy that erupted last week over Carlson’s failure to fall in line with the vast majority of the rest of the mainstream media on the White House’s narrative regarding Russian aggression toward Ukraine.
Business Insider, like many other media outlets, who in turn were echoing the administration, accused Carlson of staking out a “pro-Putin” position, at least prior to the actual launch of an invasion last Thursday, at which point the Fox News host was said to have “changed his tune” on what was actually happening and who was at fault.
For what it is worth — again, prior to the actual invasion — Carlson had argued that Putin was, to an extent, being unfairly demonized by the U.S. government and mainstream media, something that had been going on since at least the 2016 presidential campaign with the false assertions of subversive links between Russia and former President Donald Trump.
Carlson had, at that time, dismissed the likelihood of an invasion and suggested that the perception of Putin as a grave threat, at least with regard to Americans, had been grossly overblown in comparison to the threats posed by communist China, drug cartels, and even radical leftists here at home in the United States.