- Sen. Ted Cruz accused military chiefs of seeking to “intimidate” Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
- The Pentagon excoriated Carlson last week after he mocked the military’s provisions for pregnant women.
- Cruz accused the Pentagon of being politicized and demanded a meeting with top officials.
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Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas claimed that the US military is launching “political attacks to intimidate” Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and has demanded a meeting with top military officials to discuss the issue.
In a letter posted on Twitter and addressed to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Cruz accused the Pentagon of launching “systematic, public attacks against television host Tucker Carlson” in the last week “that in substance, tone, and political resonance are inexplicably inappropriate.”
Cruz in the letter accused the military of undermining its neutrality in domestic political debates “for the sake of left-wing ideology and political expediency.”
-Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 14, 2021
“This spectacle risks politicizing the military after several centuries of efforts to keep military officials out of domestic affairs,” he wrote in his letter. “This kind of behavior, while perhaps typical in a military-controlled Third World country, is completely unacceptable in the United States of America.”
Last summer, Cruz had defended then-President Donald Trump’s threat to deploy US troops to quell domestic anti-racism protests, in what was widely decried as a violation of the US military’s political neutrality.
Cruz’s intervention in Carlson’s rift with the Pentagon came Carlson used his top-rated Fox News show to taunt the military over new flight suits for pregnant servicewomen, accusing the Biden administration of seeking to make the US military “more feminine” and claimed that “pregnant women are going to fight our wars.”
“The bottom line is it’s out of control, and the Pentagon’s going along with this. Again, this is a mockery of the US military and its core mission, which is winning wars,” Carlson said.
The comments were swiftly condemned by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, as well as serving and former US service members.
“What we absolutely won’t do is take personnel advice from a talk show host,” Kirby said in a statement.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, also tweeted: “F— Tucker Carlson.
Over the weekend a US Marine force Twitter account withdrew a tweet that pushed back against Carlson’s comments, and issued an apology. The now-deleted tweet, addressed to Carlson, said: “Get right before you get left, boomer.”
The II Marine Expeditionary Force apologized on Twitter on Saturday, saying: “We are human and we messed up. We intended to speak up for female Marines and it was an effort to support them. They are a crucial part to our corps and we need them to know that. We will adjust fire and ensure the utmost professionalism in our tweets.”