On the Thursday broadcast of his FOX News program, Tucker Carlson sparred with actor Rob Reiner for his attempt to tie President Trump to Russia and declaration that we are “at war” with the nation is “disingenuous.” Carlson said Reiner ironically sounds like a military “hawk,” something he opposed former President George W. Bush for.
Reiner is behind a group that released an ad narrated by actor Morgan Freeman explaining why we are “at war” with the Russian Federation. Carlson asked the actor-director to follow up on that.
“How would you respond if President Trump took you seriously and sent the B-52s to St. Petersburg or blockaded the Gulf of Finland? Would you support that?” Carlson asked.
“We’re not advocating going to war… or a tradition war with Russia,” Reiner said. “We’ve been invaded in a certain way.”
Reiner clarified the U.S. was attacked via cyber warfare.
“When we say we are at war, we are talking about a cyber war,” he said.
“It doesn’t make that clear,” Carlson said about the Freeman video. “Morgan Freeman who everyone trusts his voice… [says] we’re at war. So you don’t really believe we’re at war why are you saying it then?”
“Well, because, if you watch the entire video, it talks about cyber warfare, it talks about how he was able to use the internet and cyber tools to attack the democracy, which is what they did,” Reiner answered.
“But shouldn’t you say somewhere in there, we are not really at war. We’re just kind of taking creative license, we’re just trying to get you all pumped up, it’s not really war. Like we shouldn’t respond as if you would if you were in a war. Why not say that so you don’t confuse people?” Carlson asked.
“I’d say if you watch the whole video you wouldn’t be confused about it,” Reiner said. “The thing that I have always felt is that, you know, people don’t really understand the capacity for cyber warfare beyond the obvious stuff of hacking into people’s computers or using the internet, you know, Facebook, we now find out that they were using Facebook to push out certain kinds of propaganda. Propaganda has been around forever, you know, from [Nazi Germany filmmaker] Leni Riefenstahl on. So we’ve had plenty of propaganda.”
“Oh, I’ve noticed,” Carlson said, laughingly.
“The point is that beyond the propaganda there are other aspects to cyber warfare that have been used. We’ve used it, the Russians have used it, and we have to make people aware of the capacity of this cyber warfare beyond sowing distrust and confusion in democratic society,” Reiner explained.
Carlson chided the filmmaker for associating himself with the likes of prominent neoconservative David Frum and Max Boot. Reiner defended the two, saying the movement involves people on “all sides.” He also noted that “this really doesn’t have anything to do with Donald Trump.”
“A couple of things. First, you have allied yourself with people like Max Boot and David Frum, who have long advocated for real wars, hot wars. Both of them were big advocates of the war in Iraq predicated on the idea that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. I think he made a movie actually on that, it’s coming out later this month taking the other side. But are you a little bit concerned, you’ve wound up linked to people who are advocating and have over decades for a series of actual wars where people die. Are you comfortable with that?” Carlson drilled.
“We have people on all sides. I mean, there’s Norm Ornstein. We have James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, many supporters. Norman Lear is a supporter. We have liberals and hawks and doves, as you say, on both sides. So, we’re not advocating going to war or going into a traditional war with Russia, but we are already in a cyber war with them. And people want to turn their heads away from that, it’s at their own peril.”
“The point I’d like to make, and this is important for people to understand, because this really doesn’t have anything to do with Donald Trump,” Reiner claimed. “Trust me. because Donald Trump, whatever happens to him is going to happen to him. There are already investigations. Mueller is going to find what he finds. The House and Senate have their own investigations. They’ll find whatever they find. But beyond that, we’ve been invaded in a certain way, and the thing that has been so upsetting to me — and I don’t know how old you are, Tucker, but I can remember when I had to hide under a desk during the Cold War in the ’50s because we were worried that we were going to get attacked by a nuclear bomb. And whenever the country has been attacked in one way or another, whether it was Pearl Harbor or 9/11, we’ve always come together as a country to defend ourselves against enemies, foreign enemies, you know? And this is the first time because I think we are divided as a country, and we know we are, we want to bring us together.”
Carlson told Reiner it is hypocritical of him for not saying anything or becoming active about Russian cyberwarfare until Hillary Clinton lost while at the same time China is more of a cyber foe to the U.S. while also an ally to Hollywood.
“I agree with you, we are very divided, and maybe this is one of the reasons,” Carlson began. “A lot of this is deeply disingenuous. Anyone who looks at cyber warfare will tell you — any honest person will tell you — the Chinese military is the primary culprit in the United States. Hacked into the White House not that long ago into the computer system there and almost every federal agency. Nobody said anything. You guys in Hollywood sell your movies in China. You bow to the imperatives of their propaganda and censorship office. You change your movies to suit them. And yet no one says we are at war with China and I wonder why. So you are sucking up to this regime that has actually broken and stolen industrial and military secrets that have hurt this country.”
“You say nothing until Hillary Clinton loses and all of a sudden we are at war with Russia. Can you see why some of us are saying, wait a second, Rob Reiner, where were you with China. Why are you selling your movies over there? Fair question?” Carlson said.
“I’m not giving China a free pass here,” Reiner responded.
“Well of course you are,” Carlson said.
“You guys in Hollywood sell your movies there and you allow their censorship office to change your movies in order to make money… Everybody who sells a movie in China does that. You know that. Stop kind of B.S.-ing a little. That’s real,” Carlson argued.
“Here is the difference, Tucker. The Chinese have done some stuff, we’ve done stuff way worse, too. And every side does it,” Reiner said.
“We’re going to judge because why?” Carlson shot back.
“China has not insinuated themselves directly into our democratic process, into our elections,” the actor-director said.
“Are you being serious, of course they have,” Carlson said. “They’ve stolen information directly from the U.S. government. From our political figures, from the Pentagon, from the C.I.A., from the White House. If they’re not in our political system then I don’t understand what the definition is.”
“I didn’t say they were not in the political system. Of course they are. What I’m saying, they didn’t utilize that material to try to affect an election in some way,” Reiner said.
“You can see why some of us are skeptical,” Carlson finished.