Former President Donald Trump said he was “shocked” to hear that Fox News fired Tucker Carlson, one of the network’s most popular hosts.
“I’m shocked. I’m surprised. He’s a very good person and a very good man. And very talented, as you know, he had very high ratings,” Trump said during an appearance on Newsmax. “We’re just learning about it almost as we speak. You and I just said, ‘Wow, that’s something. That’s a big one.'”
“I think Tucker has been terrific. Especially over the last year or so, he’s been terrific to me,” Trump added.
Fox News announced on Monday that the network and Carlson “agreed to part ways.”
“FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” the networks statement read. “Mr. Carlson’s last program was Friday April 21st. Fox News Tonight will air live at 8 PM/ET starting this evening as an interim show helmed by rotating FOX News personalities until a new host is named.”
It remains unclear why the popular host, whose show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” became the highest-rated program in cable news history, was fired by the network. Several theories have emerged, including one suggesting Carlson was let go over his religious views.
According to Vanity Fair, a source said Fox Corp. chair Rupert Murdoch was behind Carlson’s removal, a move that was allegedly sparked by Carlson’s speech at the Heritage Foundation’s 50th Anniversary gala on Friday.
During the speech, Carlson said politics in America have come down to “good” and “evil” and encouraged people to pray.
“We should say that and stop engaging in these totally fraudulent debates…I’ve tried. That doesn’t work,” Carlson said. “I have concluded it might be worth taking just 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to say a prayer for the future, and I hope you will.”
Murdoch reportedly found Carlson’s speech extreme due to its religious overtones.