Tucker Carlson on Matt Lauer scandal: ‘It shouldn’t surprise you’

Tucker Carlson weighed in on Matt Lauer’s firing, saying that it was “awful,” but unsurprising that the “Today” co-anchor allegedly sexually harassed multiple women.

“It shouldn’t surprise you that famous people who bask in adulation all day long behave poorly when the cameras are off,” Carlson said during Business Insider’s Ignition conference on Thursday.

“It’s awful, ” he added. “Abuse of power is always awful — any kind of power; sexual power, financial power. It’s also really common. People abuse their power, by definition.”

Carlson is now a popular Fox News host, but he previously had a perch at MSNBC. The pundit said he still had friends at the network, describing them as “good people.”

Lauer allegedly propositioned employees, made lewd jokes to co-workers, and behaved inappropriately with a female colleague while covering the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He is the latest high-profile media and entertainment figure to be accused of sexual misbehavior, joining a group that includes Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, John Lasseter, Dustin Hoffman, Charlie Rose, as well as former Fox News chief Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, the conservative host that Carlson replaced.

29 PHOTOS
Tucker Carlson through the years
See Gallery
Tucker Carlson through the years
Tucker Carlson of the Weekly Standard during a CNN National Town Meeting on the Media discussing coverage of the White House sex scandal, Arlington, Virginia, January 28, 1998. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)
Tucker Carlson at The Creative Coalitions' 'Freedon of the Press During Wartime' panel discussion at Chadwick Restaurant in Beverly Hills, Ca. Thursday, June 20, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect
Carl Bernstein, William Baldwin, Charles Koones, Tucker Carlson, Michael Isikoff and Peter Bart at The Creative Coalitions' 'Freedon of the Press During Wartime' panel discussion at Chadwick Restaurant in Beverly Hills, Ca. Thursday, June 20, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect
WASHINGTON - JUNE 4: (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT)(L-R) U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, an unidentified member of his security detail, Democratic presidential candidate Reverend Al Sharpton, and CNN Crossfire host Tucker Carlson attend a CNN pre-party for the White House Radio and TV Correspondents Association annual dinner June 4, 2003 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 15: Politicians Partisans and Parasites (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images)
Tucker Carlson of Crossfire (Photo by Linda Spillers/WireImage for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli)
CENTURY CITY, CA - JULY 8: Talk show host Tucker Carlson attends the Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Westin Century Plaza Hotel on July 8, 2004 in Century City, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images).
UNITED STATES - JULY 27: CNN's Tucker Carlson, makes a phone call in a hallway in the Fleet Center, on the night Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., was nominated as the vice presidential candidate,at Democratic National Convention 2004, in Boston. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 31: (L-R) Producer Lawrence O'Donnell, moderator Tucker Carlson and Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas take part in an Art$, Education and the 21st Century Economy panel discussion at Carolines August 31, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
Tucker Carlson (Photo by Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagic)
Tucker Carlson and Patricia Duff during The 2005 Do Something BRICK Awards - Inside Arrivals at Capitale in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Robin Platzer/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON - APRIL 29: (U.S. TABS & HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Tucker Carlson and Christopher Buckley attend the Creative Coalition and The Atlantic Media Company reception April 29, 2006 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Nancy Ostertag/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 18: DANCING WITH THE STARS - Tucker Carlson, (right) MSNBC news anchor -- and often controversial -- conservative political TV pundit and columnist, will be partnered with professional dancer Elena Grinenko (left), who makes her series debut this season on ABC Television Network's 'Dancing with the Stars.' (Photo by James Sorensen/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 01: DANCING WITH THE STARS - Tucker Carlson, MSNBC news anchor -- and often controversial -- conservative political TV pundit and columnist, rehearses partnered with professional dancer Elena Grinenko, who makes her series debut this season on ABC Television Network's 'Dancing with the Stars.' (Photo by Talley Lach/ABC via Getty Images)
Tucker Carlson & Harry Hamlin (Photo by Ron Wolfson/WireImage for TMG (The Marketing Group))
Nick Kosovich, Vivica A. Fox, Tucker Carlson & Rashel Pouri (Photo by Ron Wolfson/WireImage for TMG (The Marketing Group))
TV Personality Tucker Carlson at the Field & Stream Magazine's Heroes of Conservation Awards Gala September 20, 2007 at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage)
WASHINGTON - APRIL 26: Tucker Carlson arrives for an after-party hosted by Bloomberg following the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 26, 2008 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 1: Tucker Carlson, Ariana Huffington, guest, guest and guest pose for a photo September 1, 2008 at the Nicollet Island Inn in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Scott A. Schneider/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 02: Tucker Carlson, a correspondent for General Electric Co.'s MSNBC unit, speaks during Rally for the Republic, an event in support of Ron Paul, a Republican representative from Texas who lost to Senator John McCain of Arizona in winning the Republican presidential nomination, at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008. The protest convention was held on day two of the Republican National Convention (RNC), which took place in nearby St. Paul. (Photo by Keith Bedford/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 7: Tucker Carlson, a conservative pundit, at the office of the new website, the Daily Caller, on January 6, 2010, in Washington, DC. The site, at which Carlson is the editor-in-cheif, has been branded as a 'conservative Huffington Post.' (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 09: Tucker Carlson of CNN, checks his messages on North Capitol Street, NW, Feb. 09, 2010. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - The Huffington PostÃs Arianna Huffington and Fox News Contributor Tucker Carlson join the ÃMorning Mixà to discuss current events on 'Good Morning America,' 9.9.10, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images) TUCKER CARLSON, ARIANNA HUFFINGTON
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 4: FOX News meteorologist Rick Reichmuth (L) and FOX & Friends Weekend co-host Tucker Carlson attend 'FOX & Friends Christmas Special' 2013 at FOX Studios on December 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: (L-R) 'FOX & Friends' co-hosts Steve Doocy as Captain America, Kimberly Guilfoyle as Wonder Woman, Tucker Carlson as The Incredible Hulk and Maria Molina as Bat Girl attend 'FOX & Friends'' 2014 Halloween Celebration at FOX Plaza on October 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: (L-R) Tucker Carlson, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, actress Bella Thorne and Brian Kilmeade pose onstage during 'Fox & Friends' at FOX Studios on April 2, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02: (L-R) Tucker Carlson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade appear on a cooking segment of 'Fox & Friends' at FOX Studios on June 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 01: Musician Trace Adkins (2nd L) talks with co-hosts Tucker Carlson (L), Clayton Morris (2nd R) and Ainsley Earhard during 'FOX & Friends' All American Concert Series outside of FOX Studios on July 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

“It’s shocking,” said Carlson. “Especially when it happens in an industry you’re familiar with to people you know. It’s even more awful in a way.”

Fox News has been lavishly praised by President Donald Trump for its largely positive coverage of his administration. Despite the Oval Office kudos, Carlson said he thinks that all of the cable news networks are paying too much attention to Trump.

“If you’re programming your entire schedule against one guy and his tweets, it’s possible you’re missing other stories,” Carlson said.

He did offer some praise for the 45th president, saying, “people don’t give Trump the credit he deserves for being hilarious.”

Carlson called the Democratic Party a “force for bad,” but said he did not vote for Trump and does not vote in any elections, save the mayoral race in his native Washington, D.C. Because the city is overwhelmingly Democratic, and he wants to vote in the primary, he is registered with the party.

“I always vote for the more corrupt candidate over the idealist, the person who will be happiest taking payouts from developers and leave me alone,” Carlson said. “Every four years there’s always some guy who’s like ‘I’m going to make your life better.’ I vote against that person every single time.”

58 PHOTOS
Matt Lauer through the years
See Gallery
Matt Lauer through the years
Matt Lauer on June 27, 1986. (Photo by Arty Pomerantz/New York Post/Photo Archives, LLC via Getty Images)
Matt Lauer gets ready to call it a day after anchoring the NBC Local News on June 04, 1993. (Photo by Jerry Engel/New York Post/Photo Archives, LLC via Getty Images)
Matt Lauer during 1997 Lexus Challenge Hosted by Raymond Floyd at La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 17: Matt Lauer (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Matt Lauer during 'Batman Forever' - New York City Premiere at Sony Lincoln Square in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Al Roker, Katie Couric and Matt Lauer outside the studio for The Today Show on the streets of New York City (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Matt Lauer (Photo by Deborah Feingold/Corbis via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Matt Lauer on Thursday Nov.16, 2017 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- Pictured: (l-r) Hosts Katie Couric, Matt Lauer during the 2000 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE 91ST ANNUAL MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- Pictured: (l-r) Today Co-Anchors Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer - (Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: James Nederlander and Matt Lauer attend the Elton John AIDS Foundation 25th Year And Honors Founder Sir Elton John During New York Fall Gala at Cathedral of St. John the Divine on November 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: Matt Lauer on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Carson Daly, Matt Lauer, Hoda Kotb and Megyn Kelly on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Dolly Parton and Matt Lauer on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Norah O'Donnell and Matt Lauer during the Skin Cancer Foundation's Champions for Change Gala at Cipriani 25 Broadway on October 17, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Matt Lauer on Thursday Aug. 24, 2017 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 12: Annette Roque and Matt Lauer attend Apollo in the Hamptons 2017: hosted by Ronald O. Perelman at The Creeks on August 12, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Apollo)
TODAY -- Pictured: Matt Lauer on Friday, Aug.11, 2017 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SAG HARBOR, NY - JULY 3: Eric Fischl and Matt Lauer attend eBay Hosts July 4th Benefit for Sag Harbor Cinema Restoration Project at Lulu Kitchen and Bar on July 3, 2017 in Sag Harbor, NY. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Matt Lauer on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured (l-r): Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Matt Lauer -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 26: Journalists Matt Lauer and singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus on stage during Miley Cyrus performance on NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on May 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: (L-R) Journalists Chuck Todd, Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Megyn Kelly and Lester Holt attend the 2017 NBCUniversal Upfront at Radio City Music Hall on May 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer attend 2017 Matrix Awards - Arrivals at Sheraton Times Square on April 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Aurora Rose/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Matt Lauer on Friday, April 21, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie are seen waling in Midtown on March 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
TODAY -- Matt Lauer's 20th Anniversary Celebration -- Pictured: (l-r) Katie Couric and anchor Matt Lauer on Friday, January 6, 2017 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Matt Lauer hosts an exclusive guest DJ session on SiriusXM's Classic Vinyl channel to celebrate the launch of TODAY Show Radio on SiriusXM on June 24, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show on June 13, 2014 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- (l-r) Matt Lauer sits down with Pippa Middleton in her first-ever television interview -- (Photo by: Anthony Harvey/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Dave Chappelle and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC News Wire)
TODAY -- Pictured: Matt Lauer appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC News Wire)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Journalist Matt Lauer and singer Celine Dion pose for a photo during on NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on July 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 12: (BROADCAST - OUT) Host, Matt Lauer speaks with swimmer, Ryan Lochte of the United States on the Today show set on Copacabana Beach on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbajabiamila appear on June 14, 2016 -- (Photo By: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Carson Daly, Natalie Morales, Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Maddie Baillio, Harvey Fierstein on the 'Today' show on Tuesday, June 7 2016 from Rockefeller Plaza in New York -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC News Wire)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Journalists Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie attend the 2016 NBCUNIVERSAL Upfront at Radio City Music Hall on May 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27: Matt Lauer is seen on April 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0459 -- Pictured: Journalist Matt Lauer arrives on April 27, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Matt Lauer at NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on April 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Caitlyn Jenner and Matt Lauer attend the 2016 Time 100 Gala, Time's Most Influential People In The World at Jazz At Lincoln Center at the Time Warner Center on April 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Time)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2016/04/07: Matt Lauer attends New York City Police Foundation gala at Waldorf Astoria. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Al Roker appear on the 'Today' show on Monday, March 14, 2016 from Rockefeller Plaza in New York -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: NBC 'Today Show' hosts Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer interview Chris Martin when Coldplay perform in the rain on NBC's 'Today Show' at Rockefeller Plaza on March 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: (R-L) Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer interview 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during NBC's Today Trump Town Hall at Rockefeller Plaza on April 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer and Jordan Spieth appear on the 'Today' show on Monday, March 14, 2016 from Rockefeller Plaza in New York -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer and Jennifer Lopez appear on the 'Today' show on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Jack Matthew Lauer, Romy Lauer and Matt Lauer attend The Philadelphia 76ers vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on January 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: TV personalities Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Tamron Hall, Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer attend the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
TV personalities Al Roker (L) and Matt Lauer arrive, at the 73nd annual Golden Globe Awards, January 10, 2016, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 04: Matt Lauer is seen in 'Midtown'on January 4, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Co-Anchor Matt Lauer speaks with Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler and Dr. Stephen Zeitels about having laser surgery on his vocal chords, as shown in a new National Geographic special on NBC News' Today on October 19, 2007 -- Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) C-Anchor Matt Lauer speaks with actor Denzel Washington about his new film, 'American Gangster' on NBC News' Today on October 19, 2007 -- Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank
OHIO, UNITED STATES - JUNE 14: 'Today' show co-host Matt Lauer (R) being congratulated by school President Robert Glidden (L) for receiving his bachelor's degree from Ohio University 18 years after he was a student. (Photo by Steve Kagan/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Subscribe to Variety Newsletters and Email Alerts!

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.