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Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward'

Fox News host Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Trump dings CNN, 'Morning Joe' ratings as Tucker Carlson sets record St. Louis man on confrontation with protesters: 'I was worried that I was going to be killed' MORE escalated his criticism of Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Reid Wilson says political winners are governors who listened to scientists and public health experts; 12 states record new highs for seven-day case averages The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump wants schools to reopen, challenged on 'harmless' COVID-19 remark Sunday shows - FDA commissioner declines to confirm Trump claim that 99 percent of COVID-19 cases are 'harmless' MORE (D-Ill.) on Tuesday night, calling her a “coward” for refusing to come on his show without a public apology.

The Fox News host said his show reached out to the Illinois Democrat’s office to invite her on the program to have a “vigorous, reasoned exchange between adults.” But he said a representative “informed us that before even considering our request, we must first issue a public apology for criticizing” the senator.

“Keep in mind that Tammy Duckworth is not a child, at least not technically – she is a sitting United States senator, who is often described as a hero,” he said. “Yet Duckworth is too afraid to defend her own statements on a cable TV show. What a coward.”

Carlson and Duckworth have been feuding since the Fox News host criticized her for backing a “national dialogue” on whether to remove memorials for George Washington in a Sunday CNN interview because the former president owned slaves.

“You’re not supposed to criticize Tammy Duckworth in any way because she once served in the military,” Carlson said during his monologue on his Monday show. “Most people just ignore her. But when Duckworth does speak in public, you’re reminded what a deeply silly and unimpressive person she is.”

“It’s long been considered out of bounds to question a person’s patriotism. It’s a very strong charge, and we try not ever to make it. But in the face of all of this, the conclusion can’t be avoided. These people actually hate America. There’s no longer a question about that,” he said.

The senator is a combat veteran who lost her legs in 2004 after a Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting in Iraq was shot down.

“They don’t address the points that you make,” he said. “They question your right to make them at all.” 

“George Washington was a genuinely great man,” Carlson added. “But to morons like Tammy Duckworth, Washington is just some old white guy who needs to be erased. Let’s tear down his statues and rename our capital city Sharpton or Mandela and let the revolution continue.”

Duckworth’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday night.

The senator had previously condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Anderson Cooper: Trump's Bubba Wallace tweet was 'racist, just plain and simple' Beats by Dre announces deal with Bubba Wallace, defends him after Trump remarks Overnight Defense: DOD reportedly eyeing Confederate flag ban | House military spending bill blocks wall funding MORE for his speech at the Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore, saying his “priorities are all wrong.” She claimed he spent “more time worried about honoring dead Confederates” than addressing those who died during the coronavirus pandemic.

Duckworth is considered a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump renews culture war, putting GOP on edge Atlanta mayor says she has tested positive for COVID-19 Trump downplaying sparks new criticism of COVID-19 response MORE this year.

Biden praised Duckworth during a virtual fundraiser Tuesday that she attended, lauding the senator for her "courage" in the face of criticism.

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