Tensions Boil Over As Tucker Confronts Mike Pence About Christian Discrimination In Ukraine

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Tensions boiled over as Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson confronted former Vice President Mike Pence about alleged anti-Christian discrimination in Ukraine Friday.

Carlson questioned Pence’s support for Ukraine despite the Ukrainian government having Christian priests arrested for disagreeing with the government’s views, to which he said is “not consistent with religious liberty.” Zelenskyy announced preparations to curb the activities of the Russian-linked Ukrainian Orthodox Church in December, who holds services in the Russian language.

“I’m confused on this question. It’s very clear that the Zelenskyy government has arrested priests for having views they disagree with. That’s not consistent with religious liberty, it’s an attack on it and we’re funding it. And I’m just wondering how, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful at all, but I sincerely wonder how a Christian leader could support the arrest of Christian leaders for having different views,” Carlson began.

Pence claimed he was assured by a Christian leader in Kyiv that no Ukrainian is being persecuted for their religious beliefs.

“I know we disagree on this strongly, but I respect your right to your opinion on Ukraine and I trust you respect mine,” Pence said, describing his travels and Christian aid to Ukrainian people. (RELATED: ‘Become Gods’: Tucker Carlson Explains That Politicians Cheer On Ukraine Conflict Because ‘War Means Power’)

Carlson then returned back to the treatment of Christians in the country.

“I can’t let you glide over the treatment of Christians—” Carlson said.

“I know,” Pence interrupted.

“No, but hold on—” Carlson said in an attempt to finish his sentence.

“The problem is that you don’t accept my answer,” an exasperated Pence responded. “I just told you I asked a religious leader in Kyiv if it was happening. You asked me if I raised the issue and I did. I also raised it with the Ukrainians and I was told that there are religious leaders who are working with the Russian military who is murdering people by the thousands.

“Wait, but hold on,” Carlson said. “Don’t you think—?”

Pence interrupted Carlson again to explain the U.S. national interest in funding Ukraine.

“I would think you would have greater concern for religious liberty in Ukraine,” Carlson said.

“I spoke to the issue of religious liberty,” the former Vice President said.

“No, you spoke to one person who’s clearly on one side of it and there are many, many news reports that are not disputed by anybody that clergy are being arrested in Ukraine and I’m merely saying I might not agree with it, I’m not Russian Orthodox, but you can’t arrest clergy for having different views. Period,” Carlson said.

“And I won’t stand for it,” Pence said. “People being persecuted for their religious beliefs. I won’t stand for it.”

The Ukrainian government has arrested some clergy in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is still aligned with the Russian Orthodox Church. Authorities allege that they have shared intelligence with Moscow to aid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, undermining national security. Many churches within Ukraine have switched allegiance from the Russian-aligned Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which is recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as the legitimate church of Ukraine.