Fox News host Tucker Carlson has claimed House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy rented a DC room from pollster Frank Luntz, who he previously accused of lobbying for “left-wing corporations.”
On Monday night, Carlson renewed his attack on Luntz, a long-time Republican Party consultant, calling him “effectively a Democrat,” in a follow-up to last week’s show where he claimed the pollster should no longer have a role with the GOP as his views don’t align with its voters.
After questioning why Luntz continued to have influence in the party, the Tucker Carlson Tonight host said his team had received a tipoff that McCarthy had rented a room in Luntz’s D.C. apartment.
He said: “Over the weekend, we got a call from a source who said that, in fact, Frank Luntz and Kevin McCarthy are not simply friends, they’re roommates. Kevin McCarthy lives in Luntz’s apartment in downtown Washington. That’s what we were told, and honestly, we did not believe it.”
Carlson later added: “This morning, since we heard it we called to check with Kevin McCarthy’s spokeswoman, and when we raised this she all but chuckled at the suggestions, ‘no when he’s in Washington,’ she told us, ‘Kevin McCarthy rents hotel rooms, or sleeps in his office in the Capitol.
“Okay, and that seemed logical to us, but we did press a little bit because we got the tip from someone reliable and we just wanted to be sure. So the spokeswoman said she would get back to us.”
Carlson then claimed his unnamed source’s tip-off was correct and that McCarthy’s spokeswoman confirmed it.
He continued: “Two hours later, we got this text. Quote: ‘Following up on our conversation from earlier today. Because of the pandemic, McCarthy has rented a room in Washington at a fair market price from Frank.”
Many lawmakers rent or buy property in D.C. for when Congress is in session, but strict ethics rules forbid them from accepting gifts.
According to the Committee on Ethics, “a gift is something with monetary value which you do not have to pay.”
It continues: “Gifts include gratuities, favors, discounts, entertainment, hospitality, loans, forbearances, services, training, travel expenses, in-kind contributions, advanced payments, and reimbursements after the fact.”
The committee explains “fair market value” as the item’s retail price, not its wholesale price, or the reasonable estimate of an item’s cost if it were for sale.
Carlson’s claims are the latest attack the host has made against Luntz, who he said worked for companies that were “opposed to the Republican Party.”
He also dismissed Luntz’s work as a pollster and mocked the concept as “just random people yammering.”
The Fox News host also criticized Luntz’s comments about the public’s views on immigration, guns in schools and the phrase ‘law and order.’
Newsweek has contacted McCarthy and Fox News for comment.