Ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson is again going head-to-head with his old network by releasing an online interview at the same time that a Republican presidential primary debate airs.
The second GOP debate for the 2024 election cycle, moderated by Fox Business host Stuart Varney, is set to air on Fox Business and Fox News on Wednesday night. The debate will once again take place without former President Donald Trump, who refused to participate and is expected to deliver a speech to blue-collar workers in Michigan around the same time.
Carlson released an interview with Trump on X, formerly Twitter, at roughly the same time that the first Republican primary debate took place last month. He is expected to release another online interview amid Wednesday’s debate and Trump’s speech, this time with fellow former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
The O’Reilly interview is set to be shared by Carlson on X at 8:30 p.m. ET, while the GOP debate will begin at 9:00 p.m. The timing of the Trump speech is less clear, with a live stream set to begin at 8:00 p.m. but the former president himself telling supporters on Truth Social to watch him at 8:15 p.m.
“When people are done watching President Trump’s speech that starts at 8:00pm, they can switch over to Tucker at 8:30,” Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said in an email to Newsweek.
A teaser for Carlson’s interview was shared to X earlier on Wednesday. It shows Carlson, who was fired from Fox at the height of his popularity earlier this year, asking O’Reilly about his own experiences of being dismissed by the network. O’Reilly was Fox’s top opinion host when he was terminated in 2017 amid a sexual harassment scandal.
The preview clip shows Carlson asking O’Reilly how he kept himself from “getting bitter,” with O’Reilly answering with a chuckle: “I’m just bitter about everything anyway. So, how much more bitter can I get?” At another point, O’Reilly maintains that there is “an active evil” that “probably runs the television industry.”
Other moments appear to show the pundits waxing on conspiracy theories, with O’Reilly suggesting that Carlson could “know too much.” O’Reilly suggests that the “American people know the fix is in” after being asked if he expects to write “Killing Trump“ one day, referring to O’Reilly’s series of books about assassinations.
Newsweek reached out for comment to Fox News via email on Wednesday.
Shortly after Fox canceled The O’Reilly Factor in April 2017, Tucker Carlson Tonight took the same time slot and went on to become similarly influential among conservatives and successful in the ratings.
Jesse Watters Primetime began airing at the same time within weeks of Carlson being dismissed this April. While Watters’ show has yet to become as successful as Carlson’s, ratings for the program have been increasing in the months since it took the time slot.