Fox News host Tucker Carlson got into a heated exchange with Republican Representative Mike Turner, demanding to know why America should send troops to defend Ukraine’s border and not our own southern border.
Last week, Turner and 14 of his colleagues sent a letter to President Biden calling on his administration to “immediately provide support to the Ukrainians” due to a recent build-up of the Russian military at Ukraine’s northern border.
“The U.S. must remain committed to protecting the sovereignty and security of Ukraine as Russia continues to be a grave threat to their region,” the Ohio Republican said in a follow-up statement.
Carlson brought Turner on his show to discuss the matter, leading to a fiery clash in which the host was curious as to why there was more interest in defending Ukraine’s border than the southern border between the United States and Mexico.
The interview began with Republican Representative Mike Turner thanking Tucker Carlson for “bringing attention to this issue.”
Almost immediately, however, Carlson wanted to know why Turner and the group of Republicans who signed onto the letter were interested in starting yet another, as the chyron on the screen said, “endless war.”
“I wonder if you could explain to them why it is in America’s interest that their kids risk their lives in Ukraine,” he challenged.
Turner suggested that not sending troops to defend Ukraine could be a second foreign policy disaster for President Biden, a clear reference to the Afghanistan debacle just months ago.
Carlson dismissed that notion out of hand.
“So the lesson of 20 years in Afghanistan and the tragic and cowardly and counterproductive exit from Afghanistan is that we need more troops in Ukraine?” he asked.
Carlson proceeded to attack Turner on the idea that American troops should be sent to die protecting another nation’s border when they aren’t used to protect their own nation’s border.
“I know from a Ukrainian perspective it’s incredibly important, but why is it important enough to risk American lives to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine when – by the way, our own territorial integrity has been flagrantly violated by a million foreign nationals coming in over the past 10 months,” he countered.
“I wonder why the emphasis on Ukraine’s borders and not ours.”
Turner responded that “everyone has emphasis on our borders.”
“Have you called for American troops to our borders?” Carlson replied.
Following the show, Tucker Carlson tweeted about his encounter with Representative Mike Turner, linking to an article in which the Ohio Republican “opposed using defense funds for a wall on the southern border.”
The exchange between the two grew increasingly tense, as Carlson noted that challenging Russia might be a mistake since they represent “the potential counterbalance against China, which is the actual threat.”
Turner reacted by suggesting the Fox News host was “clearly” confused about the situation and “if you get out a map” he’d better see the neoconservative Republican point of view.
“Ukraine is a democracy. Russia is an authoritarian regime that is seeking to impose its will upon a validly elected democracy in Ukraine and we’re on the side of democracy,” countered Turner.
“I guess I’m for democracy in other countries,” a seemingly torn Carlson said. “I guess.”
That said, he suggested he’s more about America’s best interests first and foremost.
“But I’m really for America and I just think that our interest is in counterbalancing the actual threat, which is China,” he added.
“And the only other country with any throw weight that might help us do that is Russia. And our continuation of the Cold War has pushed Russia toward China, and that does not serve our interests in any way.”
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