Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday exposed a hoax group claiming to pay protesters to disrupt Donald Trump's presidential inauguration when the group's purported director of operations, "Dom Tullipso," appeared on his show.
The group "Demand Protest" posted ads on Backpage.com in over 20 cities recruiting professional protesters to go to Washington, D.C to disrupt the inauguration on Friday. Protesters will receive $50 an hour in addition to a $2,500 monthly retainer, according to the Washington Times.
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"So this is a sham. Your company isn't real," Carlson said. "Your website is fake. The claims that you have made are lies. This is a hoax."
Carlson then called Tullipso out on his name and said that he did a background check prior to the show, which revealed no records of his existence. He then gave Tullipso the opportunity to reveal his true identity, but he took the hoax further by claiming his real first name is "Dominic."
"Hold up a credit card, you can cover the number, to our camera and show us any piece of documentation with the name ‘Dominic Tullipso' on it, and you can't because that's not true at all," Carlson said.
Tullipso then changed the topic and tried to challenge Carlson and mock Fox News by saying that there was no way that a "legitimate" news network would ever let anybody on the air unless they were properly vetted. Carlson responded that Fox News was not fooled by his company.
"On your website, you claim that you pay a retainer to 1,817 operatives every month. Now if it that were actually true, that ‘s $54 million a year you are spending on just retainers. It's another $30 million a year if you are paying them for 6 hours a week work. That's demonstrably silly. You aren't doing that," Carlson said.
Tullipso insisted that they were actually paying $80 million and that Carlson's numbers were outdated, which prompted Carlson to say that he got the numbers from Tullipso's website.
"We are greatly, greatly supportive of national treasures such as Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Peyton Manning, and we really support their efforts to really get the truth out there, and in the case of the current client that we have right now, that client is very interested in releasing the Roswell papers," Tullipso said.
Carlson started laughing and commended Tullipso on his performance, while saying that the Washington Times was fooled into reporting the story as legitimate.
"It's pretty darn easy these days to just say whatever the heck you want on national TV and have it passed on as truth. It's pretty incredible to me how easy it was to get the coverage we got," Tullipso said. "By the way I'm not saying any of this is a hoax or any of this isn't true."
At the end of the interview, Carlson told Tullipso to give his best to "Peyton Manning and Mrs. Tullipo."
Tullipso jokingly corrected him on the pronunciation, which prompted Carlson to ask him whether he actually thought that Fox News was going to fall for his story.
"I am just surprised you put me on. That's what's surprising," Tullipso said.