Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, who has been criticized for repeating former Republican President Donald Trump's lies about the integrity of the 2020 general election, is facing heavy criticism after he called into question Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's defeat in Brazil's recent presidential election.
Carlson initially acknowledged Bolsonaro's loss, saying the far-right firebrand was “narrowly defeated by his far-left, convicted criminal opponent, Lula da Silva.”
However, he later pivoted, claiming that “the election is still ongoing” and “there are questions," even though that is patently false.
You can hear what Carlson said in the video below.
"Well, wait a second. The election is still ongoing. The incumbent has not conceded."
"How do you know the claims are, quote, false? Well, of course, you don’t. You’re taking sides and using censorship to cement the results in place."
"This is propaganda. YouTube is interfering in a democratic election in a sovereign nation. How is that allowed?”
There is no question that Da Silva—better known as Lula—won the Brazilian election.
Lula defeated Bolsonaro in the second round of the contest, winning 50.9 percent of the votes to Bolsonaro's 49.1 percent, the narrowest margin of any Brazilian presidential election.
Among Brazil's democratically elected presidents, Lula became the first to secure a third term and received the highest popular vote. At the same time, Bolsonaro's defeat made him the first sitting president to lose a bid for a second term since a 1997 constitutional amendment allowing incumbent presidents to seek consecutive re-election.
Although Bolsonaro has not formally conceded defeat, he has signaled that he will cooperate with the transfer of power. Bolsonaro's Chief of Staff Ciro Nogueira confirmed that Bolsonaro "authorized me, when it is time, based on the law, to start the transition process."
Bolsonaro himself even thanked those who voted for him, though he did attack critics who've decried his abuses of power, saying that "unlike my accusers, I have always played within the four lines of the constitution."
These facts prompted many to call out Carlson for lying on the air.
Carlson has produced rather flattering coverage of Bolsonaro before, at one point interviewing him at the Palácio da Alvorada as part of a segment on "the rise of Chinese power and influence in the country" for Tucker Carlson Originals, his series on Fox Nation.
Their meeting sparked controversy after Bolsonaro reportedly handed Carlson an Indigenous headdress and asked him to wear it for a photo op, which resulted in a debate about cultural appropriation, the inappropriate or unacknowledged adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity.
During his presidency, Bolsonaro has rolled back protections for Indigenous groups in the Amazon rainforest and facilitated its destruction through deforestation, expressing a desire to expand nuclear and hydroelectric power into the Amazon.
Bolsonaro has been heavily criticized by environmentalists and Indigenous groups alike for opposing lands reserved for Indigenous tribes, going so far as to strip Fundação Nacional do Índio (FUNAI), a Brazilian governmental protection agency that establishes and carries out policies relating to indigenous peoples, of the responsibility to identify and demarcate Indigenous lands.