President Donald Trump’s campaign distanced itself from lawyer Sidney Powell following a contentious back-and-forth with Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Did Carlson play a role in Powell’s apparent departure from the team?
The controversy began on Nov. 19, when Powell claimed that “communist money” sent through countries like “Venezuela, Cuba and possibly China” had been to help President-elect Joe Biden win the 2020 election via corrupted software. The Trump campaign, allies and the president himself have alleged massive voter fraud in the election.
Powell made other claims, including accusing two Republicans of being involved in a conspiracy regarding Georgia’s electronic voting system.
Carlson addressed the claims following Powell’s comments about the voting software, made during a press conference with Rudy Giuliani, on Nov. 19. Carlson said that Powell had been invited on the show and noted that “she never sent any evidence” backing up her claims. What’s more, according to Carlson, is that Powell allegedly did not provide evidence to those “around the Trump campaign,” either.
“We took Sidney Powell seriously,” Carlson said Nov. 19. “We had no intention of fighting with her … We simply wanted to see the details. How could you not want to see them? So we invited Sidney Powell on the show. We would have given her the whole hour. We would have given her the entire week, actually, and listened quietly the whole time at rapt attention.”
“But she never sent any evidence, despite a lot of requests – polite requests. Not a page,” he continued. “When we kept pressing, she got angry and told us to stop contacting her. When we checked with others around the Trump campaign, people in positions of authority, they told us Powell has never given them any evidence either. Nor did she provide any today at the press conference.”
After Carlson’s public call-out, many people reacted. Right-wing commentator Mike Cernovich tweeted that he would “wait and see,” adding that “giving benefit of the doubt to Sidney Powell is hardly some deadly sin.” Newsmax host Greg Kelly also went after Carlson, tweeting that it isn’t up to him to “decide if and when this election is over.”
Tucker Carlson carefully called out Sidney Powell for not providing evidence to support her wild claims — and since then, his mentions have been FLOODED with people calling him a traitor, sellout, etc. Notable that some won't even believe *Tucker Carlson* delivering this info.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 20, 2020
Powell, too, publicly responded to Carlson multiple times. First, she issued a statement saying that “a 5 minute television hit is not” her “focus now,” Washington Examiner reporter Anthony Leonardi tweeted.
In response to this @TuckerCarlson segment tonight, @SidneyPowell1 Powell tells me “Apparently Mr. Carlson missed the news conference today. I would continue to encourage him and all journalists to review all the materials we have provided so far… https://t.co/9FHZo8B7wM pic.twitter.com/0yY4Rvze0i
— Anthony Leonardi (@TonyDLeonardi) November 20, 2020
Powell further addressed Carlson’s call-out on Nov. 20 during a Fox Business show hosted by Maria Bartiromo. Powell said she was not angry when Carlson contacted her for evidence and blamed his “rude” attitude for her eventual non-responses.
“No, I didn’t get angry with the request to provide evidence,” Powell said. “In fact, I sent an affidavit to Tucker that I had not even attached to a pleading yet to help him understand the situation and I offered him another witness who could explain the mathematics and the statistical evidence far better than I can.”
“But he was very insulting, demanding, and rude, and I told him not to contact me again, in those terms,” Powell added.
That evening, Carlson gave an update on Powell’s voter fraud investigation. He said the show had heard from both “people in the White House and people close to the president” regarding Powell’s allegations.
“Like us, they have not seen a single piece of evidence showing that software changed votes,” Carlson reiterated. “Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen – it might have happened. It means they haven’t seen any evidence that it happened. And by ‘they,’ we are including other members of Donald Trump’s own legal team.”
“They have not seen Powell’s evidence either – no testimony from employees inside the software companies, no damning internal documents, no copies of the software itself,” he added before addressing Powell’s comments earlier in the day that America “may not have to wait much longer” for proof.
Carlson called claim this “great news.”
“If Sidney Powell can prove that technology companies switched millions of votes and stole the presidential election, she will have almost single-handedly uncovered the greatest crime in the history of this country. And no one will be more grateful for that than I,” he concluded.
An update on our reporting on Sidney Powell’s voter fraud investigation. Watch. pic.twitter.com/ho6Dkv0IXf
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) November 21, 2020
Following the two-day blow up and Powell doubling down on her Nov. 19 claims, the Trump campaign issued a statement on Sunday evening effectively distancing itself from her. The campaign said that Powell “is practicing law on her own” and “is not a member of the Trump Legal Team” or Trump’s personal lawyer – despite the president noting her as a part of the team on Nov. 14.
“I understand today’s press release,” Powell said in a statement to CBS News on Sunday. “I will continued to represent #WeThePeople who had their votes for Trump and other Republicans stolen by massive fraud through Dominion and Smartmatic, and we will be filing suit soon.”
The question remains: Did Carlson calling out Powell and asking for proof to back up her accusations lead to Trump’s campaign publicly declaring she is not involved in the team?