‘You Don’t Accept My Answer!’ Mike Pence Hammers Tucker Carlson on Russian Invasion of Ukraine


Former Vice President Mike Pence rebutted attempts from Tucker Carlson to criticize the Ukrainian government for alleged persecution of Christians, telling the former Fox News host that he was informed by a Christian leader in the country that such concerns are invented.

Carlson, who has long criticized Ukraine for defending against Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion, asked Pence at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa for his thoughts on allegations that the Ukrainian administration of Volodymyr Zelensky has targeted Christians:

Carlson: You recently met with Zelensky, according to news reports. And I’m wondering if during that meeting, as a prominent Christian leader, which you are, in addition to your political views, you broached the question of his treatment of Christians within Ukraine. The Zelensky government has raided convents, arrested priests, has effectively banned a Christian denomination, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church within Ukraine, has persecuted Christians. And I wondered if you raised that with him.

Pence: I did raise the issue when we were there. And I raised it with the leader of the Orthodox Church when I was visiting Kyiv. And asked him about concerns about religious liberty. He assured me that the Zelensky government in Ukraine was respecting religious liberty, even while recognizing that there were very small elements of the Russian Orthodox Church that were being utilized for the purpose of advancing the Russian cause in Ukraine, and that they were they were taking steps to hold them to account. But the leader of the church at St Michael’s in Kyiv told me personally that he believed that the Zelensky government was respecting religious liberty.

Carlson: I’m confused on this question. It’s very clear that the Zelensky government has arrested priests for having views they disagree with. That’s not consistent with religious liberty. It’s an attack on it, and we’re funding it. I don’t mean to be disrespectful at all, but I sincerely wonder how a Christian leader could support the arrest of Christians for having different views.

Pence: Well, what I can tell you is I asked the Christian leader in Kyiv if that was, in fact, happening, and he assured me that it was not. People were not being persecuted for their religious beliefs.

Pence went on to detail the atrocities committed by Russian forces. “I mean, the the truth is what I saw was not just evidence of war, but I saw evil,” he said. “And I believe that it is in the interest of the United States of America to continue to give the Ukrainian military the resources that they need to repel the Russian invasion and restore their sovereignty.”

The comment about US support for Ukraine prompted some boos from the crowd.

When Carlson pressed Pence again on his claims of religious persecution, the former vice president snapped at him.

“The problem is you don’t accept my answer!” Pence said. “I just told you that I asked the religious leader in Kyiv if it was happening. You asked me if I raised the issue, and I did! I also raised it with the Ukrainians. And I was told that there are there are religious leaders who have been working with the Russian military that is murdering people by the thousands.”

Carlson then accused Pence of speaking with someone who is “clearly on one side of it” despite Pence making clear he spoke to the leader of the church that Carlson claimed had been banned by Zelensky.

Pence continued to defend US support for Ukraine — even at one point hammering the Biden administration for not supplying the besieged country with enough tanks and weaponry, prompting a shocked Carlson to protest that he seemed to be focused more on Ukraine than the United States.

“Tucker, I’ve heard that routine from you before,” Pence shot back. “Anybody that says we can’t be the leader of the free world and solve our problems at home has a pretty small view of the greatest nation on Earth.”

What Carlson failed to mention is that the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has killed thousands of civilians and destroyed cities, has also led to the targeted murder of Christians by Russian forces.

According to David Curry, president and CEO of Global Christian Relief, writing for Fox News:

Russia’s war in Ukraine has led to tens of thousands of deaths and injuries as well as the displacement of at least 14 million people. In addition, the Russian military has created untold suffering, specifically among Christians and religious minorities in Ukraine, going out of its way to systematically target Christians and destroy houses of worship. Putin and Russia must be held accountable for their crimes — especially those perpetrated on the basis of religion.

Human rights experts say Russian soldiers have targeted pastors and churches when invading regions in eastern Ukraine. The Russian military has disproportionately sought out evangelical Christians, destroying, damaging and looting nearly 500 religious buildings and sacred sites. The Institute of Religious Freedom (IRF) has documented numerous cases where Russia has seized religious buildings and used them as military outposts to conceal firing positions.

Watch the Carlson-Pence interview above, via BlazeTV on YouTube.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor in Chief of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com. Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin