Before Tucker Carlson's ouster, Trump's aides worried for a hot minute that the Fox News host would back Ron DeSantis: NYT

Before Tucker Carlson's ouster, Trump's aides worried for a hot minute that the Fox News host would back Ron DeSantis: NYT
Carlson had been giving DeSantis more positive coverage recently, but has since grown closer to Trump, The New York Times reported.Scott Olson/Getty Images, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
  • Donald Trump's 2024 team feared that Tucker Carlson would start backing Ron DeSantis, NYT reported.
  • But Carlson recently has been speaking often with Trump, putting the latter's team at ease.

Former President Donald Trump's aides were worried last year that Tucker Carlson — who was recently ousted from Fox News — might declare support for Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 GOP presidential race.

Carlson's favorable coverage of DeSantis troubled Trump's advisers as he gave the Florida governor more airtime and lauded DeSantis' policies, The New York Times reported.

DeSantis has featured prominently on Carlson's show in recent months, speaking about his decisions on border control, education, and his dispute with Disney.

In mid-March, the governor — who is expected to run for president in 2024 but hasn't declared a run — also aligned with Carlson's beliefs on the war in Ukraine, criticizing the White House for assisting Kyiv with weapons shipments.

But Trump and Carlson have since been talking regularly, putting the former president's team more at ease, per The Times.


The pair have been texting and speaking more often over the last six weeks, and their relationship is closer "than at any time before," The Times wrote, citing two people close to Trump.

Trump's team also felt more assured when they discovered that Carlson was upset with DeSantis in late March for calling Russian leader Vladimir Putin a "war criminal," The Times reported.

This was after DeSantis argued that his earlier comments bashing US aid to Ukraine had been "mischaracterized," and affirmed his stance that Russia was "wrong" to invade Ukraine.

Carlson has been a fierce supporter of Trump on Fox News, but text messages recently exposed by a lawsuit showed that the host privately slammed the former president in early 2021.

"I hate him passionately," Carlson wrote in one of the texts.


Still, the reveal didn't stop Trump from appearing for an hour-long interview with Carlson on April 12. The Times wrote that the pair had patched up their relationship after the texts went public.

Carlson officially exited Fox News on Monday, the network revealed in a surprise statement.

Fox said it "agreed to part ways" with Carlson without specifying why the host was leaving. He ran the show "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on weeknights at 8 p.m., where he often touted conspiracy theories such as false 2020 election fraud claims.

During his last show on Friday, Carlson didn't appear to know he would be leaving his network days later.

He spent the final moments of the segment eating pizza with his guest Tyler Morrell, a delivery man who tripped a fleeing suspect. "That's it for us for the week; we'll be back," Carlson told viewers in between bites.


The Wall Street Journal and The Times reported that Carlson only knew he would be taken off Fox News about 10 minutes before the network's announcement.

Representatives for Carlson, Trump, and DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.