This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," February 28, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Good evening and welcome to TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT. Happy Monday.
No sane American approves of what Russia has done in Ukraine. We certainly don't, and we don't know anyone who does.
On Twitter, you see Democrats pretending that their political opponents are responsible for the invasion and somehow support it. So, Joe Biden and his staff so mismanaged the world that Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine after Biden told us for months he could prevent that from happening, and yet, all of it is your fault. So that's a slanderous lie.
In this country, virtually everyone understands that the invasion of Ukraine is bad, it is bad for us, and for the world, and Vladimir Putin is bad, too. So effectively in America, those are settled facts. We can stop debating them. The question is, what do we do next?
Vladimir Putin's badness doesn't absolve us of our responsibility to think clearly about how to protect this country, and the rest of the free world - - in that order. In fact, Putin's badness makes wise decision making in the United States more important than ever, and yet, at the same time, it makes wise decision making harder to achieve.
It's not easy to see the long view when you're angry. A writer called Tanner Greer wrote a piece this morning, which you should read, it's entitled "Pausing at the Precipice." Greer began by pointing out that Russia has obviously earned our contempt, most Americans now despise Vladimir Putin. That's understandable, they're outraged.
But moral outrage is not enough. Moral outrage is not a foreign policy.
In fact, Greer writes, moral outrage can be counterproductive. It's clarifying, but here is the downside, quote: "A righteous reaction may be a dangerous one. In the field of power politics, it is outcomes, not intentions that matter most. Failure to slow down and examine the assumptions and motivations behind our choices may lead to decisions that feel right in the moment, but fail to safeguard our interests, secure our values, or reduce the human toll of war in the long run."
Exactly. Nicely put.
Another way to express it would be this, our leaders could easily turn this tragic and volatile moment into a historic disaster. They've done it before.
As of tonight, here are the two main things we ought to be worried about going forward. First, and most obviously, this war could get much worse than it already is. We could see many Americans die.
Joe Biden is telling us he will not commit American troops to Ukraine. Biden also claimed he opposed vaccine mandates. So, is he telling the truth? Even if he is telling the truth about his intentions in this case, Biden can't see the future. Biden has no idea what will happen tomorrow or next week, much less next year? Nobody does.
We do know that already, many in Washington are pushing for a Hot War with nuclear armed Russia. They are demanding a no fly zone over Ukraine. That means American forces would shoot down Russian jets in Ukrainian airspace and also take out radar installations and other facilities within Russia itself.
Not surprisingly, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky is on board with this. Why wouldn't he be? He has asked Joe Biden for an American enforced no fly zone.
But as we said, many in Congress are for it, too. Here's Adam Kinzinger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I think this is time where we need to at the invitation of Ukraine declare Ukraine a no fly zone enforced by NATO and the United States. We certainly have the capability to do that. The airspace is still contested by the Ukrainians.
We could certainly shut down Russian air operations even if we don't directly engage Russian troops on the ground.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: "We can shut down Russian air operations, even if we don't directly engage Russian troops on the ground." So that's a lie. It's hard to overstate how dishonest Kinzinger's claim is.
Shooting down Russian planes and taking out radar installations would by definition entail engaging Russian troops. If Vladimir Putin is even half as evil and crazy as they tell us he is and he may be, that could easily spiral into nuclear conflict.
So you would only suggest that if you had nothing to lose and Adam Kinzinger of course doesn't. His political career is over. He is disgraced. He has literally nothing to lose.
But many of us have a lot to lose: Our country. We have children. So we should pause before we do that. But no pausing allowed. Adam Kinzinger thinks you're a traitor if you're worried about where this might go, quote: "This breathlessness over nukes is mind blowing." Kinzinger wrote over the weekend, "Nothing bad will happen."
And maybe nothing bad will happen, but something very bad could happen and it could happen fast. Adults know that. Anyone with experience knows that. Watch any war in history and yet, tonight, amazingly, some of those adults -- and they are adults -- favor this anyway.
Two former Supreme Allied commanders of NATO, Wes Clark and Philip Breedlove are pushing for armed confrontation with the Russian military. In an interview with "Foreign Policy" magazine, Breedlove was honest enough to acknowledge that a no fly zone would amount to, quote, "An act of war," and it would, thank you for saying so out loud.
But Breedlove said, he is for it anyway. Okay.
So this is the moment when a functioning news media would step in and start to ask some basic questions about what happens next. War with Russia, fine. What does that mean, exactly? How far is the United States and its population who would fight that war prepared to take this conflict? And to what end?
Once we start bombing Russia, will Putin withdraw his forces from Ukraine? What will be left if Ukraine by that point? How are we sure that Putin, who we say is deranged won't go nuclear if a war with him begins? And then, among many other questions, what will China's role in this war be?
Thanks to the efforts of the Biden White House, China is now Vladimir Putin's strongest ally. The Chinese have just signed a long-term energy deal with Russia, they now have skin in the game. Russia will be powering China's economy going forward.
Good job, Biden White House.
But because that's true, how sure are we that the Chinese will stay out of a war? How do we know they won't take down our digital infrastructure, which they seem to some great extent to control in this country, et cetera et cetera. You can think of many questions.
But reporters aren't asking any of them. Asking questions is now immoral.
Richard Engel who knows better -- he is the chief foreign correspondent at NBC -- is now demanding that American troops fight the Russian Army. It's a moral imperative, quote: "A massive Russian convoy is about 30 miles from Kyiv. The U.S./NATO could likely destroy it. But that would be direct involvement against Russia and risk everything. Does the West watch silence as it rolls?"
And of course, the answer is implied, we can't watch in silence. That would be immoral. If you're a good person, you will support a war that could very easily turn into a nuclear conflict.
Again, this is moral blackmail. No one in America takes pride at the sight, feels anything but revulsion at the sight of Russian troops within Ukraine. It's wrong. It's destabilizing to the world. It is in fact, against our values.
But how we respond is the question.
Thoughtfully has to be the answer, unless we're prepared to risk massive consequences.
Now Richard Haass, who is the President of the Council on Foreign Relations would under normal circumstances, be exactly the man you would go to for a wise and reasoned perspective on what to do next. That's his job. Whatever you think of the Council on Foreign Relations and we don't think much, they're not a radical organization. Their job is to think through the consequences of action, but not anymore.
Richard Haass is foursquare in favor of a Hot War with Russia. He is calling for, quote, "regime change" in Moscow because no doubt, they will greet us as liberators. What could go wrong? Here's Richard Haass.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD HAASS, PRESIDENT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: We need now a response of necessity to his war of choice, and there has got to be to raise the economic costs at home, to raise the military costs on the ground.
I hate to be so blunt, but the most vulnerable thing that Putin is vulnerable to is dead Russian soldiers. So, we have to make sure Ukraine has the means to resist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: When did a guy that irresponsible take over the Council on Foreign Relations? And of course, that's not his real job, the Council on Foreign Relations. His real job is being a cable news pundit, and that's kind of the problem with the level of discourse around this war.
The problem is that when real people with jobs that convey actual authority start talking like cable news guests, things could go sideways very fast. "Dead Russian soldiers."
So it is hardly a defense of Vladimir Putin to point out once again that a shooting war with Russia could have massive consequences for us, because it's not just Russian soldiers who would die. Americans would die, too, potentially, many of them.
And by the way, it's not at all certain we would win that war. Sorry, it's not. Ask anyone who is familiar with the current state of readiness of the U.S. military. Is victory a foregone conclusion? This is the roll into Baghdad. No, it's not. This is not Saddam Hussein we're talking about.
So again, the point is, are we ready for all of this?
We're moving down a path that could result in the destruction of the United States. Americans may be mad at Putin, understandably, but they are wary of where our leaders are taking us next.
A new CNN poll, for example, shows a strong majority of Americans -- speaking of democracy -- opposes direct military action against Russia. Are they all traitors? Are they all pro-Putin? Probably not.
At the very least, they would like and we could use a sober national conversation about the potential consequences of where people like Richard Haass are taking us now. That's the opposite of what we're getting. Instead, we're getting buffoons like Adam Kinzinger sitting in his office making bellicose noises on social media.
Just the other day, Kinzinger posted images on Twitter of Ukrainian Air ace called the ghost of Kyiv. He downed Russian MiGs left and right. Well, it turns out the whole thing was a hoax. But of course, Adam Kinzinger had no idea because he knows nothing, quote, "The Ghost of Kyiv has a name and he has absolutely owned the Russian Air Force," he tweeted.
Imagine, a sitting Member of Congress tweeting about a war like it's a cable news site. He absolutely owned the Russian Air Force. Really? Get some respect. People are dying, buffoon.
Kinzinger then attached an obviously PhotoShopped image of the comedian, Sam Hyde sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet. Sam Hyde for the record is not a Ukrainian fighter ace, he is once again a comedian. That was Adam Kinzinger. These are the people pushing us toward a new World War.
So at the very least, let's pause and think this through. That seems fair. And as we do that, it is also worth considering what is happening here in the United States, concurrent with this war, and justified by this war.
And by that, we are speaking of the assault on civil liberties now underway. It would be ironic if a defense of democracy on the other side of the world led to an erosion of democracy here, and yet that seems to be where we're heading.
You'll notice that the moment that Russian troops rolled across the border into Ukraine, Democrats wasted no time in attacking not just Putin, but their political opponents in this country. What did they have to do with it?
Isn't worth a moment for unity? We're all in this together. But they leveraged this war and the human suffering that inevitably entails to make partisan points.
One MSNBC regular in one of the stranger moments you'll see on television - - MSNBC has had a lot of those recently -- said the whole conflict was the result of the plot engineered by Vladimir Putin's mole who happened to be the former President of the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH KENDZIOR, PHD, SCHOLAR OF AUTHORITARIAN STATES: Trump was installed as the President of the United States in order to weaken the alliances that were preventing Putin from achieving his goals. Alliances, like NATO, our relationship with our European partners, our relationship with Ukraine.
Trump was put in as a bulldozer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Okay, so we spent maybe three years holding up the lunacy of the Russia-gate people and the lying as evidence that maybe they shouldn't have a meaningful effect on our national conversation about politics. And yet somehow, through a very unfortunate confluence of events, those very same unbalanced people are now having immeasurable effect on our foreign policy.
And if you think we're overstating the lunacy, try to follow the logic here. This is what she just told us.
So Donald Trump, that would be Putin's man in the White House tells Europe not to become dependent upon Russian oil as he did, and to pay more for their own military defense, which he also did and was scoffed at, by the way. And yet, for some reason, Putin then waits to invade Ukraine until his man in the White House is gone and playing golf in Florida.
And now, it is Donald Trump's fault that Europe is dependent on Russia for energy. It was all part of Putin's plan. Republicans wanted this to happen all along.
You can imagine MSNBC viewers, the ones who sat through years of this, nodding along, "yes." Now, the pee tape makes sense.
What's scary about this is that it's not confined to MSNBC. The overlap between MSNBC guests shouting nonsensical partisan talking points and true conspiracy theories and Democratic policymakers is profound.
So Democratic lawmakers are now pretending there is a large and dangerous fifth column in the United States working for Vladimir Putin, which there is not. And as always, they're talking about themselves.
Eric Swalwell for example, he recently took the maximum possible campaign donation from a lobbyist for Nord Stream 2 AG. Now, that's the company making the pipeline that will give Russia greater control over Europe's energy grid, and from which the Russian government profits.
So Eric Swalwell is taking money from the Russians. And by the way, this is a guy who had sex with Chinese spy. Has he had sex with Russian spies? We don't know.
But you'll notice the one guy who probably shouldn't be calling other people traitors as he takes money from Russian energy interests is whipping around and accusing everyone else of rooting for the Russians. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): We have Republicans who are rooting for Russia and that makes it very hard for President Biden to get the whole country to go along when Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, and Tucker Carlson are rooting for Russians and that's been replayed on Russia TV to rally Russians for this cause.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: You know, it's such an awful thing to say, we hesitated even to play that. It's very common. You hear it every day. The question is, why are they saying that? It doesn't make sense, but it makes political sense. It is an effort to cover their own tracks. Our foreign policy establishment failed to constrain Vladimir Putin.
To bring you back to ancient history like a week ago, they were telling us that sanctions and arming the Ukrainian military would prevent a Russian invasion. Now they were wrong about that, they've been wrong many times, most recently in Afghanistan.
And in fact, now that we're casting blame, if there is any single American who deserves scorn, and yes, blame for the invasion of Ukraine, it would be Joe Biden. Of course, it was his job, self-described job to prevent it.
But of course, they won't admit that. Instead, they are attacking you, and they are doing it with partisan goals in mind. Democrats plan to use the Ukraine invasion -- this has become very obvious in the last three days -- in the very same way they used January 6th.
So bad event takes place, no one really is for it. No one defended the riot on January 6th, we certainly didn't. But history is written immediately for partisan ends. So then you take the hysteria, ginned up over that event, some of it legitimate, by the way, people have a right to be upset, and you use that to purge the country of the Democratic party's political opponents.
So what do they really hate? Well, listen to them.
They hate populist politics. They hate populist politics in this country far more than they hate Vladimir Putin. So they are using this opportunity, this war in Eastern Europe to shut down domestic dissent in the United States, and you're seeing it as always in our allies first, several, including Canada have banned journalists who don't agree with their view of the war.
Again, if we're going to protect democracy let's just start at home and democracy is defined, literally defined by the tolerance of the regime for dissent. But no dissent is allowed. So, they've pulled RT off the airwaves in Canada, we did that long ago and that led "Mother Jones" Magazine to ask this question today quote, "Both RT and Sputnik Air the United States, too (untrue, but whatever they don't know) Well, Biden follows suit and crackdown on pro-Russian disinformation. If he does, U.S. cable companies will also need to scrutinize media outlets like FOX News whose shows -- Tucker Carlson in particular -- have parroted pro-Russia talking points."
Okay. So Putin invades Ukraine, self-evidently a tragedy, bad for the United States and we are using that as a justification because we care so much about democracy to shut down any news organization, any journalist who questions the Democratic Party.
Okay, how did we get here anyway? How corroded have these people become that they're calling for government censorship of dissent and telling us they are defenders of democracy. That's just the beginning.
Anyone who supports voter ID laws is a Kremlin agent, too. Are you seeing how they're going to use this? Here is Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee to explain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): We talked about the fact that the invasion -- the assault on Ukraine was an assault on democracy.
Barbara took the time to talk about assault on our democracy in our own country.
REP. BARBARA LEE (D-CA): The fight for democracy is taking place throughout the world. It's not only in Ukraine, but it's in our own country. And we've seen this through the campaigns of misinformation and disinformation.
We see this happening in Ukraine. The fact that now, we see those that are trying to take away the voting rights of people of color, of African- Americans of young people, of seniors, of the disabled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: You know, it's not even worth parsing the logic of something like that. You can only feel deep sadness that the people you just saw represent you in our legislature.
But by the way, as long as we're punishing people who are allied with hostile foreign interest, just to restate the obvious, China is now Russia's strongest ally in this war, and that has real implications for people like, I don't know, Nancy Pelosi whose family has gotten rich from China or the entire American finance sector, same, or Hollywood, or all the people who are now profiting from Vladimir Putin's closest ally.
Will they divest of those investments? We'll see.
But in the meantime, you should be very aware that there are partisan forces trying to use the war in Ukraine to accomplish political objectives here domestically and gain more power for themselves.
It's not so much about voting rights or shutting down FOX News, it's about shutting you up, personally, your ability to express yourself. And if you doubt that, you should know that Senator Mark Warner of Virginia just wrote a letter to his donors, the tech monopolies demanding that they quote "restrict the spread of Russian propaganda."
He did not define the term "Russian propaganda," and as a show that has been accused of disseminating it repeatedly, we can tell you we're a little sensitive on the topic and you should be, too.
So Warner went on television recently to report that his donors from big tech quickly complied with his demand. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: You sent letters on Friday to our leading social media companies, Meta, which runs Facebook, Alphabet, Reddit -- asking them to take action to prevent Russian state media, Russian propaganda operations from appearing on their platforms. I want to ask, have you received any responses yet to your request that they take that action?
SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): Well, David, the short answer is yes. Virtually every one of these platforms has taken down some of the Russian activity or de-monetized, so they are not making money off of RT or Russian ads on real time, during the platforms, that's good. I commend these platforms.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So contrast that clip with the one from MSNBC we just played. The first is when dumb people do propaganda and tell you that Russia invading Ukraine is somehow about racism in the American South or something. I mean, it's nonsensical.
What you just saw is what happens when smart people do propaganda. The C.I.A.'s shill on the left, the Intel Committee Chairman on the right. You'll notice that the C.I.A. shill said Russian state media or Russian propaganda. Just to be completely clear, Warner is not talking about banning Russian state media. He is talking about banning Russian propaganda, a term that he gets to define. He is talking about censoring the opinions of Americans.
Now, to be clear, that is not allowed in a democracy. In a democracy, citizens who rule have an absolute right to have any opinion they want. Period. That's not an ancillary freedom. That's not something like random thing that we have as an added bonus as Americans. That freedom of speech, freedom of conscience is the central freedom we have. It's the whole point of the country.
And there is no point in supporting Ukraine if our leaders ignore our own Bill of Rights, and we should demand that they respect our Bill of Rights before they take a single step forward in defense of any other democracy. Period.
We have FOX News Alert for you.
There are sirens going off across Ukraine as we speak. FOX's Benjamin Hall is on the ground in Ukraine. It is 3:21 in the morning there.
Ben, what do you see?
BENJAMIN HALL, FOX NEWS CHANNEL, FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: You know, Tucker, right now, it has gone quiet. But we have seen sirens and heard sirens for the last few days here in the town of Lviv. This part of the country hasn't yet been affected the way some of the eastern parts in Kyiv have been affected.
But I can tell you that the next few days are really seen as a pivotal period in this war, and it has only been five days, I know. But what we've seen over the last five days is the sense that Putin has been slowed down in a much bigger way than he ever expected by the Ukrainian Army. And as such, we've seen him take a step back almost.
And the fear is now that he is going to double down over the coming days. The Ukrainian Army did remarkably well with their javelins and their stingers. Many of them provided by the Americans. And as a result, we are now seeing a huge convoy move towards Kyiv, a convoy which it is feared is going to start unleashing hell on some of these cities.
In fact, we have seen today a real increase in attacks on cities like Kharkiv and Kyiv indiscriminately as well. The use of cluster bombs now beginning, vacuum bombs, and the feeling is that Vladimir Putin thought initially, maybe he could come in quickly using less of his Army, takeover, decapitate the government in the capital, that hasn't happened.
And so the next few days are going to be critical as we see just how far he goes to achieve his objectives. And of course, while you see him doing this, you also have to be concerned about the exodus of people and the humanitarian issues.
The U.N. already saying that half a million people have fled this country. That is in the last five days, and that figure likely to rise dramatically up to five million, they say, if this war continues.
And we were at train stations earlier today. We saw thousands of people desperately trying to escape the country. They can't get on trains. Tickets are no good. They don't know where they are going.
They've left their livelihoods, their families, their homes, often just with the things on their back and that is because, many didn't see this invasion coming. They didn't expect it. In fact, the government said it was not imminent.
And so what's happened is that suddenly there is this massive push towards the border. How Europe -- European countries will handle it just remains to be seen -- Tucker.
CARLSON: Benjamin Hall for us. Thank you so much for that.
Benjamin Hall is hosting a live hour from Ukraine later, so now, you can tune in right here on FOX News, 11:00 PM Eastern time.
So the economic effects of all of this are profound. We're not seeing them in the West just yet, but they are very obvious in Russia. The Russian ruble slumped by as much as 30 percent today because of economic sanctions imposed by European countries as well as the U.S. and Canada.
So one of the effects of this economic pressure, which is designed to force Putin to pull out of Ukraine, which would be a virtuous result, but in real life, in the short term, the effect is to push Russia even closer to China.
So you've got to wonder what the implications of that are long term. Jack Carr is a former Navy SEAL sniper. He is the author of "The Devils Hand," and other bestselling fiction and is a very wise person in contrast to so many you see on TV right now.
Jack Carr, thanks so much for joining us.
So, I think you can be upset -- very upset -- about the invasion of Ukraine and still think beyond, say next week, to the consequences of a Russia- China alliance, and I wonder what you think those consequences might be.
JACK CARR, FORMER NAVY SEAL SNIPER: We have a very hard time thinking beyond the next tweet, not just next week, and you put up some tweets there in the opening monologue that show how our political discourse has fallen to one or two-sentence jabs on that platform.
We need to stop tweeting and start reading, in particular, our elected representatives, our senior military leaders. But the China situation here is, is the one that is most interesting. We're focused on Ukraine. We're focused on a pipeline that takes energy from Russia through Ukraine.
We're focused on those things, but we are missing that Chinese-Russian Alliance. We've seen Russia push in to the Arctic for those shipping lanes up there, and this particular invasion of Ukraine comes at a time when the Russians don't have much longer to go when we talk about their demographics, and we talk about their population.
And outside of Russia, Ukraine is the largest ethnic Russian population out there. There is a book when we talk about knowing the situation in which we are about to commit U.S. forces, "The Accidental Superpower" right here.
And this book in 2014, predicted that in eight years, Russia would need to invade Ukraine to get those people, so that they would not -- they could continue to live because they are about two generations away if they continue on their current trajectory.
So we have them leading the Ukrainian people for that. We have them moving into the Arctic, so they have those shipping lanes. We have a base in Ukraine that they need also, for shipping. And now we have Taiwan, we have the East China Sea. We have the South China Sea, we have the Philippines Sea, and we have a similar situation in that China thinks Ukraine, or China thinks that Taiwan is a part of China, just like Russia thought that Ukraine was a part of Russia and they met a lot stiffer resistance.
Have they come in there, decapitated the government and controlled Ukraine by this fifth day in the war, China's response would be a little bit different right now.
So China is watching this very carefully. But to your point, they look decades, centuries ahead, where we're looking to that next tweet.
CARLSON: That's exactly right. And of course, China needs energy, and now, it has an energy supplier in Russia because they don't care as much about climate in China, I noticed.
Jack Carr, I appreciate you're putting it into perspective and recommending that people read, which is the root of knowledge and wisdom. So, thank you for that.
CARR: Thank you so much. And a couple other little small points here is that becoming energy independent again, this should be obvious to all Americans how important that is if we're going to continue to lead on the world stage and not have our politicians take money and get rich off investments in places like China, in places like Russia,
CARLSON: Amen. Those are just baseline requirements, I'd say. Great to see you tonight, Jack Carr.
So you're reading all kinds of reports about Ukrainian citizens taking up arms, being given arms to fend off Russian invaders; politicians, apparently are doing the same. One of them is Ukrainian Member of Parliament. His name is Sviatoslav Yurash and he joins us tonight.
Mr. Yurash, thanks so much for joining us.
So, I don't know if you can hear me. But if you can, are you personally taking up arms to repel the invaders?
SVIATOSLAV YURASH, UKRAINIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Yes, the reality is, we are in Kyiv. We are being sieged right now, and this is a capture of the largest European states that is basically under the full scale invasion of Russia that is trying to destroy it, annihilate it, and take it over in every single way.
The point here, there is no citizen that is not thinking about what he will do when Russia tries to take over the city, and those millions of people in this town are taking up arms, taking up any instrument they can to try and resist.
CARLSON: Have you seen -- speaking for yourself -- have you seen Russian forces within the city?
YURASH: Yes, we have seen Russian forces. There have been skirmishes with various saboteur groups that have been trying to get into the city. We are capturing their POWs by the hundreds all over Ukraine now.
As far as Kyiv is concerned, we have them moving from the north, trying through the east. They are trying to encircle the city, basically. The south and west is mostly open.
And again, we are trying to keep it that way by taking over -- taking back town in the west of Kyiv, and basically I have been in those front lines and that's the point of trying to basically keep our city.
CARLSON: Do you plan to stay?
YURASH: Very much so. Our President is very near where I'm standing right now, whole of the government is staying in Kyiv. It is our capital city. We aren't going to just give it up.
Again, this is our country, and we don't want to allow Putin's illusion of grandeur destroy our dreams and independence of liberty.
We will fight for that.
CARLSON: Has there been a lot of fighting in say the neighborhoods around Kyiv?
YURASH: Yes, yes, yes. There have been lots of fighting in the north of Kyiv. They got in with a very big column. They are trying to move through Chernobyl, endangering the whole Europe by taking over the plant and trying to, again, basically spinning it out of control and moving through that lot, a lot of heavy machinery, artillery, and infantry.
And basically they went -- they got into north of Kyiv and citizens there basically rallied around the attempt to just destroy them, and they had pushed them out of the city basically.
The fighting right now is heaviest around the city limits. We are just facing various saboteur groups that we can push back.
CARLSON: Amazing. Godspeed. Good luck to you.
YURASH: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Thank you.
So you're hearing people say that a lot of people in Washington, that the United States are to impose and then enforce a no fly zone over Ukraine. Now, that is, as the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO was honest enough to acknowledge, an act of war against Russia.
Now, the question is not whether that's deserved or not or whether Americans would like to defend Ukraine, probably most Americans would like to see Ukraine rid of the Russian troops there. The question is, what would it mean to go to war with Russia?
Jen Psaki was asked about this today in the briefing and dismissed it as a bad idea. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: On military, is there any way in which the U.S. would support a no fly zone over Ukraine?
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, here is what is important for anybody to know about a no fly zone. What that would require is implementation by the U.S. military. It would essentially mean the U.S. military would be shooting down planes, Russian planes.
That is definitely escalatory that would potentially put us into a place where we're in a military conflict with Russia. That is not something the President wants to do.
QUESTION: So that's a no on that?
PSAKI: Those are all the reasons why that's not a good idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUGHAN JONES: Well, and point of fact, they wouldn't put us in a place where we would potentially be in armed conflict with Russia, that would be the definition of an armed conflict with Russia. And then the question is, where does it go from there?
But that is a voice of sensibility, at least, Jen Psaki for once. The question is, why are so many in Washington still calling forward including some in the Republican Party?
John Daniel Davidson has been watching all of this. He's the political editor of "The Federalist." He joins us tonight.
John, thanks for coming on. Am I missing something? You hate to preface every sentence, but it is hardly a defense of the Russian invasion to ask how much deeper into this war does the United States want to go?
JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON, POLITICAL EDITOR, "THE FEDERALIST": No, it's a good question, and it is a question that prudent and cautious and circumspect leadership would be asking, and would be advocating for in public as well.
Earlier, you talked about Representative Adam Kinzinger with these crazy, you know, going on Twitter to talk tough about imposing a no fly zone. You know, that kind of analysis doesn't quite get as far as what happens when you shoot the first Russian plane down, which as you said, that means you're at war. U.S. at war with Russia.
It's reckless, Tucker. But the sad truth is, I think there are a lot of people in Washington that would like to have a war with Russia, they would like the U.S. to be at war, and they have their own reasons for wanting that.
CARLSON: Well, that is for sure. They have their own reasons for wanting that. Some of it is just pure emotion, and people get carried away, and you know, I'm sympathetic. We all get carried away. But this is too big a question to allow yourself to be carried away if you're a leader.
My question is, I think Biden, I never say this, but he is taking the right position right now on this, but there is almost no bad idea that he hasn't fallen for -- from vaccine mandates to packing the Supreme Court -- if he gets enough pressure, he will change his view. How long off is that, do you think?
DAVIDSON: It is hard to say. This is the one issue in Washington where you can actually get bipartisan support, you know, Republicans and Democrats can come together and say: Hey, let's get U.S. troops involved in a European land war.
You know, this is the one thing I would say for the Republicans, you know, for sort of the neo conservative faction, you know, the Never Trump faction of the Republican Party. They see this as their way back into power, to kind of seize a hold of the G.O.P. again.
Whereas, you know, anyone who has been paying attention to American politics knows over the past five or six years, you know, American voters and Republicans have moved on from the neocons and we're not going to fall for this delusion anymore that you know foreign wars are more important than what's going on at home.
So that's part of what's happening here.
CARLSON: And they are not even trying to make the case. I mean if David Frum could, you know, slowly explain why having a land war in Ukraine would make the United States safer or more prosperous or lower the number of Americans who die of fentanyl ODs, maybe people would go for it, but they don't even care because they don't care because they don't care about the country.
DAVIDSON: David Frum would have to explain where those weapons of mass destruction are in Iraq first, and then he could, you know --
CARLSON: Yes, we should deport David Frum, a Canadian immediately, in my view.
John Daniel Davidson, great to see you tonight. Thank you.
CARLSON: So apparently, a huge Russian convoy is on the outskirts of the capital city of Kyiv right now. It was 17 miles early in the day, it's reportedly 40 miles long. We'll take you live to that city in just a moment.
Also, one U.S. Senator Josh Hawley is proposing new legislation to do what we obviously need to do, and that is restore domestic energy independence. We'll ask him what he'd like to see happen straight ahead.
CARLSON: It's about 20 to four in the morning in Ukraine. At this hour, Russian forces are apparently advancing on the capital city of Kyiv, FOX's Trey Yingst is live there for us tonight -- Trey.
TREY YINGST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Tucker, good evening. We've heard air raid sirens throughout the city tonight as Russia continues its air campaign against the Ukrainian capital. It is the ground forces though, that officials here in Kyiv are most concerned about.
New satellite images indicate a Russian convoy estimated to be about 40 miles long headed here to the Ukrainian capital on the outskirts of the city just about 17 miles away at this hour.
It is significant as U.S. defense officials believe the Russian playbook indicates they will try to surround this capital city in an effort to push forward and ultimately overthrow the government.
We've heard explosions in the distance tonight to the Russian forces targeting a radar system south east of this position, but at this hour, there are many civilians underground. They are really paying the heaviest price amid this conflict, thousands fleeing to the west, others trying to wait it out and get supplies when they can.
Some images today, just really heartbreaking inside of a hospital in Ukraine, women and children huddling for shelter trying to stay away from this air campaign.
But the words of one mother standing out. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We received all the medicine we need, but we are running out of food. Local charity funds promised to bring some. We are waiting that they will come and bring us bread, essential, and some juice for children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YINGST: Real concern this city could be cut off amid a much larger military offensive -- Tucker.
CARLSON: Trey Yingst for us in Ukraine. Thanks.
So one thing you learn, I mean, so much is unclear, five days into this war, but one thing is very clear, big picture and that is that countries that have ample energy are affluent and independent and those that don't are not. They're dependent on other countries.
Why is China involved in this? Because China needs Russian energy, and now thanks to the complete incompetence of the Biden administration, they have it.
But what about us? We don't have energy independence anymore. We need it.
Josh Hawley is proposing legislation to restore it, and on that basis, he joins us tonight.
Senator, thanks so much for coming on.
So tell us what your -- and I don't think anybody watching this point, you know, global warming be damned -- doubts your point that we need to be energy independent, or else we will always be drawn into conflicts that this. What would your legislation do to restore energy independence?
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): Tucker, it would reverse the Biden administration policies that have throttled down our energy independence and greenlighted the Russians.
So what my bill would do is, it would open up new oil and gas leases. They would say that those pipelines that Joe Biden shut down, that they will be reopened, and it would make it the policy of the United States government to make this country energy independent and to get our energy sector producing full throttle.
I mean, here's the deal. Russia is not a country so much as a gas station and Joe Biden has allowed them to have energy dominance. We've surrendered our energy independence to them. It is time to shut down their energy sector and return ours to full production. That is the way that American can emerge strong from this and also send a message to Russia.
CARLSON: So, if you shut down the Russian energy sector, and I am not debating -- you know, I'm not saying they don't deserve it, but what would that do to international petroleum markets? I mean, wouldn't gas prices just immediately go to $9.00 a gallon, if we did that?
HAWLEY: That's the problem, Tucker, with what this administration has done. I mean when Joe Biden came into power over a year ago and immediately throttled down American energy, said no more oil and gas leases, shut down our pipelines, shut down our production, it took much of our energy offline.
And it does -- it makes us dependent. It makes the rest of the world dependent on Russia. That is exactly what Putin is banking on.
I mean, here is the fact of the matter, right now, Americans are suffering through runaway inflation, higher gas prices, and the Ukrainians are on the receiving end of a massive invasion, in part because of Joe Biden's lefty politics that have empowered people like Putin, by making us dependent on their energy. We need to reverse that.
CARLSON: It's so funny how many people buy this nonsense that I mean, you even see Republican Governor -- the Governor of Texas buying into the windmill lie. I mean, why wouldn't this be an absolute deal killer for Republican voters?
If you're making our energy grid unstable, if you're making us more dependent on China for solar panels or Russia for oil, we are not voting for you. I don't know why this isn't a campaign issue.
HAWLEY: It ought to be an absolute central issue of American policy, Tucker, and it should be bipartisan. I mean, who wants to be dependent on countries like Russia for our energy? Make the Germans and the Europeans and everybody else buy oil and natural gas and every other form of energy from us.
This ought to be where we are leading the world. And we can be, we could, we did just a couple of years ago. We could again, if Joe Biden's policies would be reversed, and this is an area where we've got to move and we've got to move on it right now.
CARLSON: I've got to wonder about motive here. I mean, if you're flying to global warming conferences in a private plane and sucking up to China, clearly you don't really care about climate change, because you're adding to it.
So what would be the motive of someone, our policymakers, to hamper, to hobble to shut down America's domestic energy production? Like why would they want to do that, honestly?
HAWLEY: Well, I think that part of it is they are enthralled to the environmentalist lobby. I mean, this is Joe Biden's politics. He is totally enthralled to the environmentalist wackos who don't care about American strength. They don't care about American jobs. You know, they don't particularly like the people who work the pipelines, who work the oil rigs. You know, those folks, they don't have much regard for them.
And listen, the truth is, those folks who do that kind of work, that laboring work, those blue collar workers, they are the backbone of our economy. Put them back to work. Let them get onto those pipelines, let them get onto those rigs. Show the world what they can do.
CARLSON: I mean, they don't care about the environment, I noticed. America is getting much dirtier and there are like Dollar Stores everywhere and people litter.
So if you cared about the environment, maybe you clean up the environment, but instead they're lecturing us about climate. Maybe it's an intentional effort to weaken the country, maybe they just don't like America.
HAWLEY: Well, I think there is the aspect that they don't believe in this country, Tucker, they don't believe in American strength. They think American strength is bad for the world. They think it makes the world more -- I don't know, unstable, unjust -- exactly the opposite is true, and the bottom line is, we've got to do what's good for the working people of this country, for the security of this country and that begins right now with restoring our energy independence, get this country's energy sector working again.
CARLSON: Last question, if gas prices spike, and we are past a hundred bucks a barrel, and there is no sense that it is going to go down anytime soon, is there anything the Biden administration can do short term. They keep telling us, well, we can mitigate the gas spike.
But I don't know what that would be. What can they do exactly in the near term?
HAWLEY: Well, beyond the short term release of the Strategic Oil Reserve, which they could do, Tucker, but that's no solution. That won't make much of a dent and it won't last long. What they've got to do is, they've got to lift the restrictions on new oil and gas leases in the pipelines.
Listen, we could get pumping pretty soon. It wouldn't take long to get American energy back online, but they've got to move now.
CARLSON: Yes. And the big banks have to agree to invest in it. I mean, it's been strangled by ESG. You know, the explorations, which no one ever saw. Anyway, Josh Hawley, it's great to see you tonight. Thank you so much, Senator.
HAWLEY: Thank you.
CARLSON: We are looking at new pictures of Ukraine, just got them where we are told the Russian military is en route, motorized and by foot to the capital city, Kyiv, which is already being bombarded by artillery.
So we want to take a quick break from coverage of Ukraine to acknowledge a major change and a welcome change, something to celebrate, Christmas in February, in this country.
All over the United States, officials are finally dropping pointless mask mandates. Places like California and Oregon and Washington State, very blue states have announced that their school mask mandates are going to end.
Meanwhile, New York City is scrapping one of the most horrifying social experiments ever conducted in this country, vax passports, show your papers for businesses and restaurants. They're getting rid of that apparently.
So why are they getting rid of all of this? Did the science change all of a sudden?
Joseph Ladapo is the Surgeon General of the free state of Florida and we are happy to have him join us tonight.
Doctor, thanks so much for coming on. So, you have followed the science, you are with the Surgeon General the state since the beginning has the science changed on masks and Vax passports on Tucker I've got a shot
Follow the science. You're the Surgeon General of the state. Since the beginning, has the science changed on masks and vax passports?
DR. JOSEPH LADAPO, FLORIDA SURGEON GENERAL: Tucker, I've got a shocking answer for you, which is that no, the science hasn't changed. The science, as we've discussed, even in the past has never changed.
We've known before the pandemic, and even during the pandemic, from the highest quality evidence from clinical trials, that the mask mandates were unlikely to have any significant impact, and the vaccine passports, just -- you know, they have really just succeeded in producing political conflict.
CARLSON: Yes. And in making people not trust medical authorities. I mean, how many Americans do you know were like nervous about going to the doctor? They've watched doctors lie for two years. So I mean, the collapse of trust in American medicine, as a doctor, are you worried about that?
LADAPO: You know, Tucker, it's an interesting point. It's interesting to hear you say it, because I think it's a point that oftentimes I hear more among my scientific colleagues and my medical colleagues, but it is absolutely the case.
You know, you've got -- you have these doctors that have been shouting from mountain tops that these masks were going to end the pandemic and stop transmission. Same thing with the vaccines, and it has completely been proven to be false.
And it has come, as you've noted at great cost, great societal costs, great cost to our kids, so that is a real issue, I think.
CARLSON: I think so, too. You want to live in a country where people feel confident in going to the doctor? I certainly do. I hope we get back to that.
Doctor, thank you. You're a doctor we trust and we appreciate you coming on tonight.
LADAPO: All right, thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: And we should note, also one little discussed benefit of ending the mask mandates, you will never again have to see Kamala Harris kiss her husband or that guy with a mask on, because that was too weird to have in a first world country.
So many Americans remain in Ukraine, in the city, Kyiv, capital city as a massive Russian convoy heads there tonight. Chad Robichaux is a U.S. Marine Corps recon veteran and a former DoD contractor. He is currently leading a team to Ukraine to evacuate these Americans. He's also going to set up a field hospital there.
Chad Robichaux joins us tonight. Chad, thanks so much for coming.
This is something we haven't talked about and I wish we had earlier, Americans stuck in Ukraine. You have any sense how many there are?
CHAD ROBICHAUX, U.S. MARINE CORPS RECON VETERAN: No. Well, thanks for having me on Tucker.
No, we don't know how many there are. And, you know, I don't think anybody has a really straight answer. United States citizens do not have to register when they go to another country. And unfortunately, the State Department doesn't track that very well.
This the same thing that our allies have seen in Afghanistan. We went in, in August to Afghanistan to get my interpreter. Aziz, we got him out. We got 17,000 people out to include Americans. And even in the last 60 days, we've got, after the 17,000 people, we still got in the last six days about 80 Americans that are still in Afghanistan, and now we're seeing in Ukraine, and so save our allies, we're going to go in and, and help get Americans out and provide medical care for the wounded that need help.
CARLSON: If the State Department isn't tracking Americans in the countries in Ukraine that it helps run, I mean, what's the point of the State Department exactly? I thought it was an American agency.
ROBICHAUX: Yes, you know, they I believe they should. The way they have it set up currently is when American travels, they had the option to register and let the State Department know that they're there. But the State Department has no tracking of U.S. citizens that travel abroad, they never have, I believe they should and I believe this is a good lesson.
Afghanistan was a great lesson. Ukraine right now is a great lesson to know where Americans all around the world, to know where our citizens are for the situations like this where our government should do the right thing to protect them.
Instead, what we've seen in the last year, and particularly with Afghanistan, and now Ukraine, is the United States government leaving Americans behind, lying about the circumstances where Americans are in a danger that they're in and not doing the right thing to go help Americans and that leave Americans behind.
If we're still seeing Americans in Afghanistan, which they are right now. Then what's -- how much hope do we have and how much trust do we have in the United States government to get those out of Ukraine, and they have openly said they're not going to get people out of Ukraine.
CARLSON: Unbelievable. So it is left to you. Chad Robichaux, appreciate your coming on tonight. Thank you. Good luck.
ROBICHAUX: Yes, sir. Thank you.
CARLSON: As noted, the Russian military apparently according to reports, it is hard to know exactly what's going on, but they seem very near the capital city if Kyiv, and in that city, in some cases. We are monitoring it, we will be back in just a moment.
CARLSON: The Ukrainian capital Kyiv under attack tonight, sirens and explosions heard across the city. You are watching video of a rocket targeting a building on your screen right now, a massive Russian convoy apparently coming closer.
Five days in, a lot going on, the outlines still unclear. Let's hope the people in charge have wisdom and foresight and strength. We are praying for that tonight.
We will see you tomorrow night, 8:00 PM, the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and groupthink.
Sean Hannity right now.
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