REVEALED: Tucker Carlson sent call from Trump to voicemail after his first debate with Biden and when the president did finally reach him the Fox host said his performance was ‘not good’
- Tucker Carlson has been profiled in The New York Times by Ben Smith
- The Fox News host was described as the ultimate Washington insider and gossip
- Smith noted a new book by a Wall Street Journal author features telling insight
- Trump rang Carlson after the September 29 presidential debate against Biden
- Carlson sent the call to voicemail after the disastrous performance
- When Trump did get through, Carlson told him the debate was ‘not good’
The Fox News host, when he finally did speak to the then-president, told him his debate performance on September 29 – when he constantly interrupted Joe Biden – had been poor.
‘Everyone says I did a good job,’ Trump told Carlson, according to a forthcoming book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender.
Carlson reportedly replied: ‘I don’t know who told you that was good. It was not good.’
The anecdote in the book was recounted in The New York Times, by media reporter Ben Smith, who profiled Carlson.
Donald Trump is known to be in frequent contact with Tucker Carlson, whose Fox News show attracts three million viewers a night
Carlson, 52, is described in a new New York Times profile as a Washington insider and gossip
Smith portrayed the 52-year-old as a consummate Washington insider, despite his passionate criticism of elites, and an infamous journalistic source of reliable gossip.
Smith pointed out that there were only two people in the conversation – Trump and Carlson – and yet somehow the conversation leaked, verbatim, in a manner that portrayed Carlson in a good light.
‘In Trump’s Washington, Tucker Carlson is a primary supersecret source,’ writes author Michael Wolff in his collection of essays, ‘Too Famous.’
‘I know this because I know what he has told me, and I can track his exquisite, too-good-not-to-be-true gossip through unsourced reports and as it often emerges into accepted wisdom.’
Trump is seen in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29 for his first presidential debate against Joe Biden. Carlson told him afterwards that the debate was ‘not good’
He also said that Carlson refused to reveal to him whether he has had his COVID vaccine, after repeatedly taking aim at the safety of the shots on his show.
Brian Stelter, CNN’s media correspondent, told Smith that ‘you can see Tucker’s fingerprints all over the hardcover’ edition of his 2020 book Hoax.
Daily Beast reporter Maxwell Tani told Smith: ‘Whenever there’s a positive story about Tucker, some Fox executives assume he’s had a hand in it.’
Smith asked Carlson about the idea of him being a top source of insider information.
Carlson, who spends three months of the summer in rural Maine, replied: ‘I don’t know any gossip. I live in a town of 100 people.’
But multiple unnamed journalists – including writers at liberal outlets – say Carlson is a good contact, amid claims it also helps soften the coverage he receives.
One DC-based journalist explained: ‘If you open yourself up as a resource to mainstream media reporters, you don’t even have to ask them to go soft on you.’
The Fox News host is his network’s biggest star, with his nightly show regularly attracting audiences of three million.
Trump was known to be a keen viewer of Carlson during his time in office, with the TV host often directly appealing to the president on air.
He is said to have been drafted in to help Trump take COVID seriously when it first hit US shores, while the former president was publicly playing the virus down as no more serious than a bad bout of flu.