Fox News host Tucker Carlson has suggested that President Joe Biden is responsible for damage to the Russian-owned Nord Stream gas pipelines, claiming that the president vowed to “blow up” the pipelines earlier this year.
Neither of the Nord Stream pipelines, which were designed to deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany, were operational when they experienced major leaks into the Baltic Sea on Monday. Leaders in Norway, Sweden and Denmark have all concluded that the leaks were likely the result of “sabotage” or another “deliberate” action, while seismologists have said that the leaks were preceded by explosions.
While the cause of the explosions and the damage to the pipelines has not yet been determined, some have suggested that Biden or Russian President Vladimir Putin could be responsible. During the Tuesday night broadcast of his show Tucker Carlson Tonight, the Fox News host dismissed the idea that Putin was behind the leaks before implying that it could be Biden.
“If you are Vladimir Putin you would have to be a suicidal moron to blow up your own energy pipeline—that’s one thing you would never do,” Carlson said. “Natural gas pipelines are the main source of your power and wealth. And most critically, your leverage over other countries.”
“Blowing up Nord Stream does not help Vladimir Putin,” he added. “He would not do that. Why would he? But that doesn’t mean that other countries wouldn’t consider doing it. They would consider it and we know they have considered it, because at least one of them has said so in public.”
Carlson then played a clip of Biden speaking about the pipelines less than three weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. The president said that the U.S. would make sure to “put an end” to Nord Stream 2 if Russia’s invasion moved forward.
“If Russia invades… then there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2,” Biden said during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on February 7. “We will bring an end to it.”
When asked by a reporter how the U.S. could “end” the pipeline, Biden did not provide any specifics but responded, “I promise you, we will be able to do it.”
“Notice how he phrased that,” Carlson said after playing the clip. “He didn’t say, ‘I will pause the delivery of gas from Russia to Germany.’ He said there won’t be a Nord Stream 2. We’ll put an end to it. We’ll take it out. We’ll blow it up.”
Carlson went on to say that Biden could be guilty of “environmental terrorism” and said that the president was not “the only person” in his administration to suggest attacking the Nord Stream 2.
He cited comments from State Department official Victoria Nuland, who said in January that the pipeline would “not move forward” if Russia invaded Ukraine “one way or another.”
“Looking back, those words seem chilling eight months later,” said Carlson. “As natural gas pours into the Baltic Sea and into the atmosphere… Could the Biden administration really do something like this?”
“We can’t say for sure,” he continued. “We don’t know for sure… we can tell you that close allies of the Biden White House believe they certainly did do it.”
Carlson pointed out comments from Radek Sikorski, a Polish member of European Parliament and the former defense minister of Poland, who tweeted, “Thank you, USA” on Tuesday alongside a photo of gas leaking into the sea.
Nord Stream 2 was completed last year but has never been opened by Germany due to the war in Ukraine. Nord Stream 1 has been shut down since late August, which Russia attributed to technical issues before saying that the pipeline would not be restored until war-related sanctions against Moscow are dropped.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing on Tuesday that she would not “speculate” on the cause of the recent damage to the pipelines, while adding that the Biden administration would “provide support” to European allies “once they have completed their investigation.”