Tucker Carlson will not be silenced and any attempt to do so is “beyond preposterous”, his attorney has warned.
And a close friend of Carlson’s says his team “are preparing for war” with Fox News, because “he wants his freedom”.
Ousted host Carlson is still being paid by the broadcaster despite being removed from the network last month after 13 years as its most-watched anchor. Reports suggest that because Carlson is still being paid, he is prohibited from joining a rival network or starting his own, according to Axios.
His $20m a year contract with Fox runs until January 25 and Axois says that means he cannot join a rival network or start his own, as has been predicted, But his attorney Bryan Freedman told Axios, the American news website based in Arlington, Virginia: “The idea that anyone is going to silence Tucker and prevent him from speaking to his audience is beyond preposterous.”
READ MORE: Tucker Carlson cracks unemployed joke in first public appearance
Axios says that sources close to Tucker suggest his allies at rival platforms are preparing to attack the network.
“They’re coming to him and saying, ‘Do you want me to hit Fox?'” a close friend of Carlson’s allegedly told the outlet.
“He’s been saying, ‘No I want to get this done quiet and clean’. Now, we’re going from peace time to Defcon 1. His team is preparing for war. He wants his freedom.”
Another source close to Carlson added that he “knows where a lot of bodies are buried and is ready to start drawing a map.”
Carlson is said to have been contacted by Rumble and Newsmax, which have both reportedly agreed to pay him more than he was earning at Fox. He also had a conversation with Twitter chief Elon Musk about working together, although they did not discuss specifics, according to Axios.
The sources also claim that Carlson is considering building a direct-to-consumer media outlet where his millions of fans could pay to watch him. The former Fox News host had previously promised his fans he would be back in a video posted to his Twitter page just two days after he was fired.
He made his first public appearance on Thursday night at the Oxford Performing Arts Center in Oxford, Alabama, for the annual fundraiser for Rainbow Omega.
“I’m probably the first unemployed person you ever invited to speak,” Carlson joked. “It’s funny. I never give speeches because I’m working. When I accepted this speech six months ago or something, I didn’t realize how much free time I would have.”
Since the decision to stand Tucker down, it has emerged that he sent an incendiary text message the day after the January 6 storming of the Capitol. The text message to one of his producers was reported by The New York Times as concerning a mob of three white men attacking an ‘Antifa kid’.
Tucker said he wanted the victim to be killed, although he later admitted that wanting him to die was wrong. Carlson also asserted that white people in general do not act so dishonorably as to launch a three-against-one attack.
“It was three against one, at least,” Carlson said. “Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight.”