Apparently, in the Fox News star’s world, this was a totally normal thing to do.
“Settlements like this, whatever you think of them, are common, both among famous people, celebrities and in corporate America,” he said Tuesday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” arguing that a non-disclosure agreement is not a big deal.
“In this case, you can believe whatever side you want to believe, but paying people not to talk about things ― hush money ― is ordinary in modern America.”
According to Carlson, there was no wrongdoing ― and the entire case boils down to the media and Trump’s critics believing that “everything he does is a crime.”
Tucker: In fact, settlements like this are common.. Paying people not to talk about things, hush money, is ordinary in modern America. pic.twitter.com/Nsx0rgYqAW
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 21, 2023
It comes as no surprise that Carlson sees such behavior as commonplace. Fox News has a long history of paying out settlements to make misconduct allegations against the network go away. Carlson’s prime-time slot, for example, became available in 2017 after former host Bill O’Reilly reached settlements totaling around $13 million with five women who accused him of sexual harassment.
In a post on his social media site over the weekend, Trump signaled that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday as part of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into the $130,000 payment to Daniels in the final days before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels was allegedly on the cusp of going public about an affair she claims she had with Trump a decade earlier.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney and fixer who made the payment, served time in prison for campaign finance violations over the incident. Trump has admitted to reimbursing Cohen.
Trump’s legal team has argued that the payments didn’t qualify as campaign expenditures that needed to be reported because Trump would have paid it regardless of the campaign. Even if that argument were to hold up, there are other legal issues at play involving potential falsification of business records when Trump reimbursed Cohen for the payments.
Carlson’s defense raised some eyebrows on social media:
This is what's known as telling on yourself. https://t.co/x9rW5wZFMe
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) March 21, 2023
Something rattling in Tucker's closet? https://t.co/GNm2pL3X5X
— LauraWalkerKC@counter.social (@LauraWalkerKC) March 21, 2023
I mean Tucker did get this time slot because his predecessor and Fox got caught paying out settlements to the employees he sexually harassed. https://t.co/s1LoXD3LoW
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) March 21, 2023
The thought of the average Tucker viewer nodding along in agreement to this is really depressing. https://t.co/adGVup3HlI
— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 21, 2023
I wish someone would pay him money to shut the fuck up https://t.co/AWVWL7RE3m
— Quancy (@QuancyClayborne) March 21, 2023
Sadly, campaign finance violations are also common, but they're still illegal.
Trump will not be charged with paying hush money. He'll be charged with lying about it and covering it up. https://t.co/Vsxhxz3CxG
— Khashoggi’s Ghost 🇺🇦🌻 (@UROCKlive1) March 21, 2023
Hush money is important for free speech https://t.co/o7n4dNpQj4
— Matt Lech (@MattLech) March 21, 2023
Oh, excuse us we thought it was a crime but tucker says don't worry only the rich and powerful pay hush money. https://t.co/qe4Sau5SGI
— WeThePeople🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@PrincessBravato) March 21, 2023
this is a distraction because the hush money isn't the crime lol the crime is *how* the hush money was documented. trump and michael cohen allegedly falsified business records to cover up the payment, and doing that is very illegal https://t.co/7lgnTQHZeC
— manny (@mannyfidel) March 21, 2023