Republican Senate leader blames Tucker Carlson for delay in Ukraine funding approval

Mitch McConnell accused the journalist of “demonizing” Kiev

The top-ranking Republican in the US Senate, Mitch McConnell, has claimed that Tucker Carlson’s interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin convinced too many “rank-and-file Republicans” that spending billions of taxpayer dollars arming Kiev against Moscow was actually harming Americans and wrecking the US economy.
As a new multi-billion-dollar US aid package to Ukraine was clearing the last procedural hurdles on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to pin the blame for months of delays on former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson and former President Donald Trump.
“I think the demonization of Ukraine began by Tucker Carlson, who in my opinion ended up where he should have been all along, which was interviewing Vladimir Putin,” McConnell told a press briefing.
“He convinced a lot of rank-and-file Republicans that maybe this was a mistake,” he said, arguing that Trump’s “mixed views” on Ukraine aid further fuelled confusion over the official narrative in Washington.
“And then our nominee for president didn’t seem to want us to do anything at all,” McConnell added. “That took months to work our way through it.”

Carlson recorded a lengthy with Putin in February, a first by a Western reporter since the conflict with Ukraine began, in which they discussed the ongoing hostilities and Moscow’s standoff with NATO.
The exchange went viral globally, with over 200 million views on X (formerly Twitter) alone, yet critics accused Carlson of not being confrontational enough with the Russian leader. The American journalist argued that most Western media outlets lie to their audiences, mainly by omission – and that the point of his interview was “to have more information brought to the West so people could make their own decisions.”
“I reject the whole premise of the war in Ukraine from the American perspective,” Carlson said in February, looking back at his conversation with Putin. “There’s a war going on that is wrecking the US economy in a way and at a scale that people do not understand.”

President Joe Biden requested additional cash for Ukraine last October after burning through $113 billion in previously approved spending bills. However, the request had been stalled until this week because of opposition from Republican lawmakers, who argued that Biden was merely prolonging Kiev’s conflict with Russia while offering no clear strategy for victory or a peace agreement. Most Republicans voted against the aid bill on Saturday, but House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) overrode his own party by enabling a vote on the bill and pushing it through with unanimous Democrat support.