Tucker Carlson posed for a chummy photograph on Thursday with longtime pal Roger Stone and two members of the Proud Boys, a fraternal organization that has been linked to last summer’s deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In an explanation provided by a Fox News spokesperson, Carlson told TheWrap that the picture had been taken in the green room of the network’s Washington, D.C., bureau just before Stone’s appearance Thursday night on “The Ingraham Angle.”
Carlson declined to condemn the Proud Boys — which have been classified as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center — and instead offered a statement via email.
“I strongly support and endorse every personal belief of every person I take a picture with on the street, the subway or in the green room, and always have,” he said, adding that his remark should be read as sarcastic.
It remains unclear how Proud Boys members Johnny Robinson and Will Dominguez ended up in a Fox News green room, though they likely came as guests of Stone, who frequently poses with them on Instagram.
Stone and Dominguez did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap; Robinson could not be reached for comment.
“Proud Boys have appeared alongside other hate groups at extremist gatherings like the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville,” reads a description of the group from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Indeed, former Proud Boys member Jason Kessler helped to organize the event, which brought together Klansmen, antisemites, Southern racists, and militias. Kessler was only ‘expelled’ from the group after the violence and near-universal condemnation of the Charlottesville rally-goers,” the organization wrote.
There is no evidence that either Robinson or Dominguez attended the rally, which sparked a riot and led to the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer.
The Proud Boys was formed in 2016 by ex-Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes. The group, which takes its name from the song “Proud of Your Boy” from Broadway version of the Disney animated hit “Aladdin,” describes itself as a “Western chauvinist” fraternal organization.
“The basic tenet of the group is that we are ‘Western chauvinists who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.’ Like Archie Bunker, we long for the days when ‘girls were girls and men were men,'” the organization explains on its website, which also notes that women are not welcome.
“Our group is and will always be MEN ONLY(born with a penis if that wasn’t clear enough for you leftists)!”
McInnes left Vice in 2007 after his increasingly right-wing views led to a split between him and fellow co-founders Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi. He went on to become a fringe fixture in conservative media, including occasional hits on Fox News.
In a 2015 appearance on “Hannity,” McInnes told former network contributor Tamara Holder that she would be “much happier at home with a wife and children.” In another hit with Greg Gutfeld several months later, he asserted that men were more likely to be raped than women.
In a statement to TheWrap, McInnes said he would proudly welcome Carlson into his ranks and that he had already satisfied the criterion for becoming a first-degree Proud Boy members.
“For 1st degree, all you have to do is publicly proclaim you are a proud Western chauvinist who refuses to apologize for creating the modern world. He does that every night at 8PM EDT,” said McInnes.
To become a 2d degree Proud Boy, however, the Fox News host would need to be pummeled by at least five men while reciting the names of breakfast cereals.