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Tucker Carlson calls Fauci a 'fraud' after tense hearing

Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonEx-Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell files lawsuits in Michigan, Georgia The Memo: Trump election loss roils right More conservatives break with Trump over election claims MORE slammed Anthony FauciAnthony FauciUS COVID-19 cases reach past 13 million Fauci: Pandemic likely won't improve by Christmas, New Year's Vaccine skepticism emerges as early test for Biden MORE as a "total fraud" after the top infectious disease expert's Friday testimony on Capitol Hill, with the Fox News host asserting that "there is nothing" Fauci "won't opine on as long as it doesn't offend the popular and fashionable left."

During a segment on his prime-time show Friday night, Carlson played a heated exchange between Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanCheney, top GOP lawmakers ask Trump campaign for proof of election fraud New RSC chairman sees 'Trumpism' as future Sunday shows preview: Biden team gears up for transition, Trump legal battles continue and pandemic rages on MORE (R-Ohio) and Fauci on Capitol Hill earlier in the day, with the two figures sparring over the possible spread of COVID-19 at mass protests.

Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, noted there is risk when crowds of people gather, prompting Jordan to press for a direct answer on protests specifically.

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"So the protests don't increase the spread of the virus?" Jordan asked.

"I didn't say that. You're putting words in my mouth," Fauci replied.

"I just want an answer to the question. Do the protests increase the spread of the virus?" Jordan pressed.

"I can tell you that crowds are known, particularly when you don't have a mask, to increase the acquisition and transmission, no matter what the crowd is," Fauci responded.

When asked if the government should limit protests as it has church gatherings, Fauci replied by saying he was not "in a position to determine what the government can do in a forceful way."

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Carlson responded to the back-and-forth on his show by lauding Jordan while declaring, "There is nothing Dr. Anthony Fauci won't opine on as long as it doesn't offend the popular and fashionable left."

"Fauci is 79, but maybe if he had like 22-year-old kids who were trying to make their way in this world in an economy that is headed down the tubes, thanks largely to his recommendations, he would feel differently," the conservative host said.

"It's not merely an inconvenience when your economy collapses. It's the end of the American dream. That's not a small thing. Maybe it's worth it. Maybe it's not, but if it is, then you probably shouldn't take a pass on the question 'Are protests, are riots OK?' unless you're a total fraud, like a complete fraud," Carlson added.

Carlson blasted Fauci again later in the segment, saying, "What a fraud this guy is."

Quinnipiac University poll released in July found that 65 percent of voters trust Fauci, though there are sharp partisan differences. Among Republicans who were surveyed, 52 percent said they do not trust Fauci on the pandemic, while 86 percent of Democrats said they do trust him.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE resumed White House briefings on the coronavirus last week, though Fauci says he has yet to be invited.

Carlson has been critical of Fauci several times on his program, including earlier this week, calling him "a hypocritical buffoon."

"Under no circumstances can you note that Dr. Fauci is in fact very often a hypocritical buffoon who refuses to admit what he clearly doesn’t know," Carlson said Monday.

"If you say that out loud, they will cancel you. Fauci is too useful to the Biden campaign. So until November, Fauci’s word must be law even when it doesn’t make sense. Criticize Fauci and you will disappear from the internet," he added.