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Tucker Carlson Was Shocked By One Thing Donald Trump Told Him

Fox News’s Tucker Carlson often rips the California governor but was surprised to discover, in their interview this week, that Donald Trump was praising him. 

President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a "Keep America Great" rally at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona. Image by Gage Skidmore.
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a "Keep America Great" rally at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona.

Carlson was shocked when Donald Trump admits a good relationship with California’s Newsom: Fox News’s Tucker Carlson often rips the California governor but was surprised to discover, in their interview this week, that Donald Trump was praising him

Donald Trump Likes Gavin Newsom? 

The recent controversy in which Fox News host Tucker Carlson was found, in 2021 texts, to have said he “hated” former President Donald Trump — followed by the unusually friendly interview Carlson did with Trump on Fox News Tuesday night — has crystalized the more-than-subtle differences between the worldviews of the two men. 

Their ideologies may be similar in many ways, but their objectives differ.

Donald Trump, when not plotting to retain or recapture the presidency, is mainly about self-gratification, while Carlson’s main goals appear to be ratings and audience engagement. 

For the last couple of years, Carlson’s show has concentrated a lot on depicting the state of California, and especially its biggest cities Los Angeles and San Francisco, as an apocalyptic hellhole, and placing blame at the feet of Gavin Newsom, the state’s Democratic governor.

As recently as Monday, Carlson argued in a nearly 19-minute monologue that the Democratic Party may be plotting to replace President Biden with Newsom on the 2024 ticket. 

The Shocker

So it was rather surprising when, in the Donald Trump interview this week, the former president told Carlson that he would “get along great” with the California governor during Trump’s presidency.

“You have a very ambitious guy in California, but he’s done a terrible job with the state,” Trump said of Newsom. “I used to get along great with him, you know when I was president. Got along really good… He was always very nice to me. Said the greatest things. He would say things like, ‘He’s doing a great job.’”

“That’s why I could never hit him because he was so nice to me. Just laying in wait, right? But he was very nice to me—relatively speaking,” Trump said. “Some of them weren’t. We did a good job for the governors. But they talk about him.”

It was reported that Trump and Newsom worked well together when they had to, such as during the pandemic and various natural disasters in California.

At the same time, Donald Trump often feuded with high-profile Democratic governors, most notably then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Newsom was even criticized at times for not being more critical of the then-president. 

“A month ago, Gavin Newsom was the king of anti-Trump — he was the leading foil for Trump — and now they’re bros,” California political analyst David McCuan told Politico during the early days of the pandemic. 

There’s also the strange coincidence that Kimberly Guilfoyle, the fiancee of the former president’s son Donald Trump, Jr., used to be married to Newsom when he was mayor of San Francisco. 

However, Trump also said in the interview that he doesn’t think President Biden will run again. 

“Look, I watch him just like you do. And I think it’s almost inappropriate for me to say it – I don’t see how it’s possible,” Trump said, a day after Biden told NBC’s Al Roker that while he plans to run again, but “we’re not prepared to announce it yet.”

Here Comes Gavin?

Newsom, who was re-elected in 2022 after surviving a recall bid in 2021, has said that he will not run for president in 2024 if Biden is in the race. The Hill, however, wrote this week about what is seen as Newsom’s ambitions to seek the presidency. The California governor has of late been traveling around the country, picking fights with the likes of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and positioning himself as a national figure. 

“My sense is that the governor is trying to leave his options open,” Eric Schickler, a political science professor at the University of California, told The Hill. 

“Building a national profile now, the most likely scenario where that really comes to fruition is for 2028.”

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Expertise and Experience:

Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.