Tucker Carlson erupts into Argentina's presidential campaign with Javier Milei interview

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentinian presidential candidate Javier Milei railed against socialism and praised Donald Trump in an interview with U.S. host Tucker Carlson that has underlined how global attention is focusing on Argentina since Milei emerged as the frontrunner in the country's presidential race.

In the interview posted Thursday on Carlson’s page on X, formerly known as Twitter, the self-described “anarcho capitalist” Milei characterized campaigns to legalize abortion and to place restrictions on economies over climate change as being part of a “socialist agenda.”

Carlson, who was fired from Fox News earlier this year, traveled to Argentina to interview Milei, who rocked Argentina’s political establishment when he received the most votes in August primaries that serve as a massive poll of voter preferences ahead of the October election.

During the interview, Milei praised former U.S. President Trump and called on him to “continue with his fight against socialism, because he’s one of the few who fully understood that the battle is against socialism, that the battle is against the statists.”

Milei, who has been a lawmaker in Argentina’s lower house of Congress since 2021, also characterized the movement around climate change as being part of the “socialist agenda.” Milei went on to say that “the world has experienced other peaks of high temperatures like it's currently experiencing,” adding that “it’s a cyclical behavior.”

Abortion, he added, is “a much darker” side of that same agenda because “as a consequence of humans causing harm to the planet, they then advocate for the assassination of people in the mother’s womb.” Argentina legalized abortion in 2020.

Carlson was fired from Fox News earlier this year after the network agreed to pay more than $787 million to settle a lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems over airing false claims regarding the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Carlson’s interview with Milei comes shortly after the former Fox News host interviewed the nationalist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who also praised Trump during their sit-down.

Carlson posted an introduction to the Milei interview summarizing Argentina’s delicate economic situation, including a scene in which he goes to an illegal foreign exchange house and exchanges $100 to illustrate the depreciation of the Argentine peso.

Carlson was filmed receiving stacks of 100-peso bills at a time when the unofficial exchange rate is around 720 pesos per U.S. dollar (Argentina also has 500, 1,000 and 2,000-peso bills). Access to the official foreign exchange market is severely limited so parallel rates have flourished.

Carlson characterized Argentina as a cautionary tale to the rest of the world considering that it’s already experiencing the “hyperinflation and reckless monetary policy” that “could soon devastate the global economy.”

Argentina is experiencing annual inflation of more than 100% but has yet to reach hyperinflation levels.

Billionaire businessman Elon Musk, who owns X, commented on Carlson's post, saying: “Government overspending, which is the fundamental cause of inflation, has wrecked countless countries.”

During the interview, Milei also harshly criticized Argentine Pope Francis, saying he “has an affinity for murderous communists” claiming he supports “dictators” like the presidents of Cuba and Venezuela. “That is to say, he’s on the side of bloody dictatorships,” Milei said. Milei has insulted the pope in the past, leading to protests by priests in Argentina.

Milei also said that as president he wouldn’t do “business with China” nor “any communist” and that he wants to be a “moral beacon for the continent.”