In an interview with Mediaite, author Michael Wolff revealed that Tucker Carlson was the source for his reporting that Ron DeSantis shoved – and possibly kicked – Carlson’s dog during an awkward lunch between the erstwhile Fox News host and the 2024 hopeful.
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In his upcoming book, The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty, Wolff describes a scene in which the Republican governor of Florida and his wife attend a lunch at the Carlsons’ home in Boca Grande, Florida. DeSantis, in Wolff’s telling, made a terrible impression on Carlson and his wife Susie, speaking in an “outdoor voice indoors,” and obnoxiously rattling off his accomplishments, demonstrating “a total inability to read the room.” He even “pushed” one of the Carlsons’ dogs under the table.
“Had he kicked the dog?” Wolff writes. “Susie Carlson’s judgment was clear: she did not ever want to be anywhere near anybody like that again. Her husband agreed.”
That anecdote was disputed by both sides when it was made public in an excerpt of the book published by New York magazine last week. “This is absurd,” Carlson told Insider. “He never touched my dog, obviously.” The DeSantis campaign said: “The totality of that story is absurd and false. Some will say or write anything to attack Ron DeSantis because they know he presents a threat to their worldview.”
However, speaking with Mediaite for an upcoming episode of The Interview podcast, Wolff said the source for the anecdote was Carlson.
“The source on this is Tucker himself,” he said. “I just reflect what he told me.”
When asked whether his subjects were lying about what happened, Wolff stood by the story: “I don’t know, maybe he exaggerated. Maybe he lied. I don’t know. Maybe he regrets saying that. I have no idea.”
“I think what I am accurately reflecting is his feelings about Ron DeSantis, and at the moment he seemed to have felt that he kicked the dog,” Wolff said. “I can’t tell you whether that happened or not. I can tell you with the greatest authority that that’s what he said happened.”
When asked by Mediaite if Carlson would be “comfortable” being outed as Wolff’s source on the alleged incident he was publicly denying, Wolff said: “I don’t know what he’s comfortable with. As I said, this is from the horse’s mouth.”
Carlson did not respond to a request for comment.
Wolff’s reporting methods for his best-selling books have been criticized in the past. Some of the reporting in his books about the Trump White House was disputed by the key figures involved.
The new book has also come under scrutiny. Fox News said the controversial author did not reach out to the network for comment or to confirm his reporting. In his interview with Mediaite, which releases Tuesday, Wolff defended his practices and insisted that everything in The Fall is “100 percent” true.
“This book is my version of the experience that I had, of what I know, of what people have told me. This is the story through my eyes,” he said.
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