Trump Reacts To Tucker Carlson Ouster, Dishes On Rivalry With DeSantis
Still frames from the 60 MINUTES hour on Sunday Oct. 25, 2020 with the presidential candidates that in Nielsen Fast National ratings drew the most viewers to the CBS News magazine since March 25, 2020.
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump reacted to Fox News parting ways with top-rated host Tucker Carlson and explained his feud with Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in a wide-ranging interview on Monday.

Trump spoke with Newsmax’s Greg Kelly, who began their discussion with questions about Carlson’s high-profile departure weeks after the Fox News host conducted an interview with the former president.

“Well, I’m shocked, I’m surprised,” Trump said of Carlson’s ouster. “He’s a very good person, a very good man, and very talented, as you know, and he had very high ratings.”

Trump said he did not know if Carlson left voluntarily or got fired but speculated Carlson “wants free rein, maybe.”

Fox News announced Monday that the network and Carlson “agreed to part ways,” and the host’s last show was Friday.

“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” Fox News said in a statement, adding that “Fox News Tonight” would air live at 8 p.m. ET as an interim show helmed by “rotating” network personalities until a new host is named.

Carlson ended his last show by telling viewers he would be back on Monday. As of press time, Carlson has yet to comment on his situation publicly.

Sources told The Los Angeles Times that the decision to push out Carlson and his producer Justin Wells came from Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and that the exit is related to a discrimination lawsuit filed by former network producer Abby Grossberg.


Later in the interview, Trump talked about the 2024 election and DeSantis, who is widely expected to enter the contest for the GOP nomination — a move that would set them up to clash.

“Right now, I’m very down on him,” Trump said of DeSantis.

Trump explained that he views DeSantis toying with the idea of a presidential campaign right now as a betrayal because he endorsed DeSantis to be Florida governor.

“A lot of people said loyalty doesn’t mean anything. To me, loyalty means a lot,” Trump said.

Although there were no insights into who Trump might pick as a running mate, he did downplay the significance of choosing one, at least during the campaign.

People “vote for the one person,” Trump said.

Trump also mocked President Joe Biden, who made his re-election campaign official on Tuesday, for opting to go with a video announcement.

“This way he can do it four or five times so he gets it right,” Trump quipped.

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