Fox News host Tucker Carlson and other network leaders, including Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham were privately critical of former President Donald Trump's claim that the 2020 election was stolen.
Carlson's message attacked the former president, referring to his efforts as "demonic," according to court records.
In Text Messages, Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Called Trump 'Demonic Force,' Doubted Election Fraud https://t.co/zkFMFwF4Ef
— People (@people) February 17, 2023
"There will be a lot of noise and confusion generated by Dominion and their opportunistic private equity owners, but the core of this case remains about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which are fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution and protected by New York Times v. Sullivan," Fox said in a statement.
People magazine noted that the network filed an amended counterclaim on Thursday, with the spokesperson adding that Dominion "mischaracterized the record, cherry-picked quotes stripped of key context, and spilled considerable ink on facts that are irrelevant under black-letter principles of defamation law."
— The Last Word (@TheLastWord) February 17, 2023
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell analyzed the new legal filing in the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News that included text messages between the network’s hosts that indicate that they knew that Trump’s voter fraud claims were untrue.
Carlson texted a coworker on Jan. 6 that Trump was "a demonic force, a destroyer. But he's not going to destroy us."
Fox News hosts also criticized Trump's former lawyer Sidney Powell in the text messages.
"Sidney Powell is a bit nuts. Sorry but she is," Ingraham wrote in a text message sent to Carlson and Hannity on Nov. 15, 2020, per the filing.
Host Dana Perino also referred to some of Trump's claims of election fraud as "nonsense."
Text messages revealed from Fox News personalities in Dominion Case:
- Trump is "a demonic force, a destroyer" - Tucker Carlson
- Trump's election fraud allegations are "total bs," "insane," and "nonsense." - Dana Perino
In other words, Fox News knows Fox News is FAKE!
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) February 17, 2023
The messages have come as a surprise to many Fox News viewers who felt the network backed Trump following his 2020 loss.
The latest court filing reveals there was doubt even among those questioning the election results, offering questions that the network hopes will help them as they continue a legal battle with Dominion Voting Systems.