Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer; Photos: Janos Kummer/Getty Images/Paul Morigi/Getty Images for the World Food Program USA
It was the fall of 2014 and Tucker Carlson needed a favor. Not yet known, the Fox News commentator and heir at a frozen dinner fortune wanted help getting his son Buckley into Georgetown University, so he and his wife reached out to their neighbor Biden hunterthe son of Vice President Joe Biden.
“He loves Washington for all the right reasons, I think,” Carlson wrote to Hunter Biden in emails confirmed by forensic analysis conducted by the Washington Job. Carlson told his friend that his son was good at squash. He told her that his son liked to fly fish. His wife wrote that she and her husband “have the greatest respect and admiration for you”. Biden said that even though he didn’t know Buckley, he would write a letter to the president of his alma mater, adding that he would “do whatever you want me to do.”
The days of respect and admiration are over. During the 2020 election, Carlson began criticizing Hunter on-air for swapping Biden’s name in his business dealings, though years earlier he tried to do the same in his son’s name (albeit on a much smaller scale). The Fox News host even attacked the president’s son for his personal struggles. Although Carlson has at times expressed empathy for Hunter, he also called him a “crackhead” on his program and he remarked in February that “when Hunter Biden smokes crack, he does it in style,” while presenting the cover of the Biden Administration’s Drug Policies.
The Biden-Carlson emails were first published in December 2021 and have now been verified by the Washington Job. Asked about the exchange by the newspaper, Carlson acknowledged, as he did on his show, that he was once friends with Hunter.
“Hunter Biden was my neighbor. Our wives were friends. I knew him well. I’ve spoken to him several times about addiction, something I know well,” Carlson said. “And I said it. I think Hunter Biden is a drug addict and that’s why his life is falling apart, and I feel bad for him. I’ve said it many times, and I mean it.”
But he also took the opportunity to poke fun at the media coverage of the Hunter Biden scandalsaying he would not comment on the content of the emails themselves.
“I cannot confirm these emails. The emails you refer to have been described by our intelligence community as Russian disinformation,” he said, adding that he did not have access to the account and therefore could not verify. emails. “Then why would I? And I read that in the Washington Job.”
Carlson was referring to the media’s initial reluctance to engage in stories allegedly based on the content of what Donald Trump dubbed Hunter’s “laptop from hell” in the final weeks of the 2020 election. At the time, more than 50 former senior intelligence officials signed a letter saying the stories based on the emails had “all the classic hallmarks of a Russian information operation.” Earlier this year, the Job reported that thousands of emails were genuine, but much of the data on a portable hard drive believed to contain a copy of the laptop’s contents could not be verified because it “had been accessed and copied repeatedly by people other than Hunter Biden for nearly three years.” The laptop was seized by federal officials, who were investigate Hunter’s business dealings since 2018.
While the Biden-Carlson swap may ultimately prove to be one of the less outrageous stories to emerge from the laptop saga, it does reveal just how willing Carlson is to castigate the inner workings of the ‘ruling class’ on the air while typing in the same networks in his private life.