Tucker Carlson Called Trump a ‘Demonic Force’ and Other Wild Texts From the Dominion Lawsuit

“What he’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong.”
Tucker Carlson (Janos Kummer/Getty Images) / Donald Trump (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

A new court filing claims that many of Fox News’ stars and executives knew the claims being pushed by former President Donald Trump were lies, but Fox News continued to push the very same conspiracies to their millions of viewers anyways. 

The 200-page court filing, brought as part of the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought by election technology company Dominion against the media giant for airing baseless conspiracies about voter machine fraud, was released Thursday. 


The filing contains details of private messages, emails, and testimony from some of Fox News’ most recognizable names, including hosts Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity. It also included messages from the station’s owners, the Murdoch family.

The claims made in the filing are monumental: The filing, in addition to claiming that Fox News continued to push election fraud lies on air while privately deriding them, also shows how some of the stations’ stars and executives dismissed guests such as former Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell as “an insane person and “a fucking nutcase,” respectively.

The filing also claims that Carlson called Trump “a demonic force,” and said that Fox’s own internal fact-checking group—known as the Brainroom—concluded the Dominion allegations being pushed by Trump were “Incorrect” and there was “not evidence of widespread fraud.”

“It’s almost impossibly difficult in this country for a public figure to win a defamation suit,” Columbia Journalism School Professor Bill Grueskin tweeted about the case on Thursday evening. “One of the only ways to do that is to show that the defendant exhibited ‘a reckless disregard for the truth.’ Fox has come as close to doing that as any media company I’ve ever seen.”


A spokesperson for Fox News categorized the court filing as “​​noise and confusion” adding that “the core of this case remains about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which are fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution.”

Here are some of the most outrageous details from the Dominion’s new court filing: 

“Trump is a demonic force”

Days after the 2020 election, Fox News host Tucker Carlson texted with his producer Alex Pfeiffer about the station’s decision to call Arizona for President Joe Biden before any other network.

“We worked really hard to build what we have,” Carlson wrote on Nov. 5, 2020. “Those fuckers are destroying our credibility. It enrages me.”

Pfeiffer replied, and said that “many on ‘our side’ are being reckless demagogues right now.”

“Of course they are,” Carlson wrote back, according to the filing. “We’re not going to follow them,” adding “What [Trump]’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong.”

Months later on Jan. 6, 2021, hours after insurrectionists had invaded the Capitol, Carlson once again texted Pfeiffer: “Trump is a demonic force, a destroyer. But he’s not going to destroy us.”


“She is a fucking nutcase”

Sidney Powell, who filed dozens of so-called Kraken lawsuits on behalf of Trump’s campaign in the weeks and months after the 2020 election, became a frequent guest on Fox News.

But behind the scenes, Fox staffers from hosts and producers to executives admitted in text messages that they knew the claims she was peddling were lies, the new filing claims.

“That whole narrative that Sidney was pushing. I did not believe it for one second,” Fox News host Sean Hannity admitted in sworn depositions given in August 2022 despite repeatedly giving her airtime on his show, even after Trump had disavowed her.

Carlson, who also had Powell on his show multiple times, at one point texted his producer on Nov. 16 to say “Sidney Powell is lying. Fucking bitch.” It’s unclear what specifically Carlson was referring to, as the previous portion of the filing is redacted.

Days later, on Nov. 18, Carlson texted fellow Fox News host Laura Ingraham, “Sidney Powell is lying by the way. caught her. It's insane.” Ingraham responded with a text: “Sidney is a complete nut. No one will work with her. Ditto with Rudy [Giuliani].”

But a day later, Fox News broadcasted the press conference featuring both Powell and Giuliani that took place at the Four Seasons’ Total Landscaping company.


On Nov. 22, Fox Vice President Raj Shah texted Carlson’s producer Pfeiffer: “Shit is so crazy right now so many people openly denying the obvious that Powell is clearly full of it.” Pfeiffer responded: “She is a fucking nutcase.”

On the same day, Trump finally disavowed Powell. Later that night, Carlson texted Ingraham that it was he who suggested to the White House that they distance themselves from Powell.

“Powell’s a nut, as you said at the outset. totally wrecked my weekend. Wow I had to try to make the WH disavow her, which they obviously should have done long before,” Carlson said in a text message, according to the new filing.

“Internally decapitated”

When Fox News host Maria Bartiromo asked where Powell was getting all her information, Powell sent her—and Lou Dobbs—an email she had received from a “source” entitled: “Election Fraud Info.”“

“Who am I?” the email’s author asks. “And how do I know all of this? I've had the strangest dreams since I was a little girl, I was internally decapitated, and yet I live. The Wind tells me I’m a ghost, but I don’t believe it.”

The email alleged, with no evidence, that Dominion was the one common thread in the voting irregularities in a number of states. It also laid out a few other wild claims:


“The email also claimed that Justice Scalia was purposefully killed at the annual Bohemian Grove camp during a weeklong human hunting expedition and that former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes (who died in 2017) and Rupert Murdoch secretly huddle most days to determine how best to portray Mr. Trump as badly as possible,” the new court filing states.

Powell’s source also claimed in this email that she gets her information from experiencing “something like time-travel in a semi-conscious state,” allowing her “to see what others don’t see, and hear what others don’t hear.”

Dominion states in the filing that “the full force of the email’s lunacy comes across by reading it in its entirety,” but sadly the entire email was not provided in the court filing.

“Giuliani is so full of shit”

Behind the scenes, Fox News staffers derided Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who pushed many wild election conspiracies including the Dominion voting machine ones. 

Hannity called Giuliani “an insane person“ in Nov. 11, 2020 text, and in January 2021, Ingraham sent a text calling him “such an idiot.” Yet both repeatedly hosted the former mayor of New York on their shows. John Fawcett, a producer on “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” which also repeatedly featured Giuliani, sent a message on Jan. 3, 2021, saying: “Giuliani is so full of shit.”


According to the filing, Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch, emailed CEO of Fox News Suzanne Scott while watching Giuliani spout conspiracies on the channel: “We don’t want to antagonize Trump further, but Giuliani [should be] taken with a large grain of salt. Everything at stake here.”

“Please get her fired”

A group chat between Carlson, Hannity, and Ingraham provided a lot of the insights contained in Thursday’s filing, including one Nov. 12 conversation in which Carlson suggested that a Fox News reporter should be fired for deciding to fact check a Trump tweet on her own Twitter account.

The filing says reporter Jacqui Heinrich “accurately fact-checked” Trump’s claims in a tweet of her own, pointing out that “top election infrastructure officials” had concluded that “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

Referencing Heinrich’s tweet, Carlson told Hannity: “Please get her fired. Seriously. What the fuck? Actually shocked. It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.”

Hannity did take action, and hours later, Fox News CEO Suzanna Scott sent a message to Wallace and Fox News senior vice president for corporate communications Irena Briganti:


“Sean texted me, he’s standing down on responding but not happy about this and doesn’t understand how this is allowed to happen from anyone in news. She [Heinrich] has serious nerve doing this and if this gets picked up, viewers are going to be further disgusted.”

Hours later, Heinrich deleted the tweet.

“The election is over and Joe Biden won”

The Dominion filing makes it clear that many of Fox’s hosts and executives knew that Donald Trump lost the election. The day before the Capitol riot, Rupert Murdoch floated the idea that its top presenters (Carlson, Ingraham, and Hannity) should jointly make a declaration to that end.

“It’s been suggested our prime time three should independently or together say something like the election is over and Joe Biden won, and that such a statement would go a long way to stop the Trump myth that the election [was] stolen,” Murdoch wrote in an email to Scott.

Scott forwarded the email to Fox News executive vice president Meade Cooper, stating that she “told Rupert that privately they are all there we need to be careful about using the shows and pissing off the viewers but they know how to navigate.” 

Such a statement was never released. 

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