Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, a frequent Fox News guest, has denigrated South Asian immigrants as insufficiently patriotic, described Indigenous Americans displaced by European settlers as “Stone Age” cannibals who lived in “unspeakable filth,” deployed antisemitic tropes about “rootless cosmopolitans” being “largely responsible” for society’s ills, and claimed that Democrats who “bring in large numbers of illegals” may have stolen the 2020 election from former President Donald Trump, according to a review by Media Matters of his publicly available speeches and recent interviews.
Macgregor, a conspiracy theorist with a long history of xenophobic commentary, has made dozens of Fox appearances since 2017 and become network star Tucker Carlson’s go-to voice for foreign policy discussions.
Carlson has described Macgregor as “our first choice for foreign policy analysis,” and defended the retired colonel when Macgregor’s declaration on Fox that the United States should “absolutely” allow Putin to annex as much of Ukraine as he wishes drew criticism from one of Carlson’s colleagues (Macgregor’s comments were so favorable to Putin that Russian state TV channels reaired clips from the interview).
Macgregor’s appointments to federal posts during the Trump administration were dogged by a series of reports from CNN’s KFile unearthing his past comments about Muslims, immigrants, the urban “underclass,” American slaves, women serving in combat roles in the armed forces, and the “Israeli lobby,” among other topics. Media Matters found additional bigoted comments from Macgregor in reviewing dozens of radio and podcast interviews he conducted since leaving government office, as well as his public speeches from prior years.
Macgregor disparaged non-white immigrants, Indigenous Americans, women in armed forces
Macgregor is a European chauvinist who scorns subsequent waves of purportedly less patriotic non-white immigrants to the United States from other continents.
Macgregor detailed his xenophobic criticism of non-white immigration at length during an October 2021 speech to the Serbian American Voters Alliance. Saying that “the most ferocious Americans I’ve ever met” were the immigrants from Eastern and Central Europe he grew up with in Philadelphia, he contrasted those immigrants favorably with the “WASPS and some Jews” who attended his Quaker school and were conscientious objectors during the Vietnam War, as well as more recent, non-white immigrants, who he said face “no requirement to believe in anything.”
“Is it a surprise that large numbers of the non-Europeans coming into this country absolutely have no use for anything that is American?” Macgregor asked the audience.
He went on to complain that his neighborhood is now “overwhelmingly South Asian,” and that when he asks them what they will do if the economy “tanks,” they tell him, “I will not worry, I’m going to go back to India.”
Macgregor also expressed his distaste for the notion that Indigenous people displaced by white settlers during the colonization of the United States had “a great civilization that we destroyed” later in the same speech.
“Now we have critical race theory and now we have equity,” he said. “And what we're being told is everything wrong in the United States is the fault of the quote-unquote ‘white man,’ the European. Everything wrong here is our fault. This would be such a better place, if only it reflected the nature and character of everything that is not European.”
“Well, good luck with that,” he continued. “The possibility that when we got to the New World, that the Stone Age peoples who lived here reach the average age of 30 before expiring doesn’t seem to occur to anyone. That they lived in unspeakable filth and unsanitary conditions, and they brutally murdered each other when they weren’t eating each other. And this is the great civilization that we destroyed. It's nonsense.”
Macgregor also denigrated Muslim immigrants during a May 2021 radio interview, saying that former President Barack “Obama and his administration placed hundreds of thousands of Muslims from Somalia and other Middle Eastern countries all over the United States … bringing in people who are obviously not Americans, recently arrived, and essentially passing out citizenship.” He similarly contrasted those immigrants unfavorably with past waves of European immigration, saying that the current message to them is: “You be whatever you like. You can settle here and stay and we're happy to have you.”
Macgregor has additionally repeatedly criticized having women serve in combat roles in the U.S. armed forces.
He praised the Russian military in a September 2021 radio interview, saying, “They're not going to push women into combat. They're not going to push women who are vulnerable, who are important to the nation, to whose principal mission is to sustain the nation, and bear children, and raise families, and reinforce the social and political and economic identities of the country.”
He likewise said in a January interview that women in the armed services pose a problem for U.S. commanders because they are forced to spend time trying to prevent them from being sexual assaulted. “Your priority is to have no incidents with any of the women who might be in your unit because that'll get you relieved,” he said.
“So where does he focus his attention?” Macgregor added. “You’ve got to protect all those women from any possible problems that they may have. What happens to everything else? Well, it takes a backseat. That's no way to run the military.”
Macgregor’s use of antisemitic tropes
Macgregor’s commentary is also peppered with allusions to antisemitic tropes.
Macgregor explained during his October 2021 speech that his interactions with his South Asian neighbors helped him realize that America’s troubles are caused by an elite class of “what the Russians used to call … rootless cosmopolitans.” That term was used by the Soviets to slur Jewish intellectuals during Josef Stalin’s antisemitic purges.
“I remembered Philadelphia in the 1960s, then I heard this and something dawned on me,” Macgregor said. “This is a microcosm of everything that's wrong now in the United States, because we have a huge problem with a class of so-called elites, the people who are wealthy, very wealthy in many cases and they are, as the Russians used to call certain individuals many, many years ago, rootless cosmopolitans.”
“These are the people we refer to as Davos, or Davos people,” he added. “They live above all of this, they have no connection to the country. There is nothing there that holds them in place, and they are largely responsible, in my judgment, for the condition that we are in today.”
“That group more than anything else is what we’re up against, and the other things that you see, whether it’s BLM or antifa – those are just foot soldiers, they are being deployed to attack us,” he concluded.
Macgregor has similarly described the 2020 presidential election as “almost a spiritual battle” against “globalists caught up in the international finance arena.”
“Globalist is used to promote the antisemitic conspiracy that Jewish people do not have allegiance to their countries of origin, like the United States, but to some worldwide order—like a global economy or international political system—that will enhance their control over the world’s banks, governments, and media,” according to the American Jewish Committee.
“The election is not just about Donald Trump. This election next year is almost a spiritual battle, as someone pointed out to me last night, because on one side you have these globalists caught up in the international finance arena, people that are for open borders, people who are absolutely committed to a continuation of our overseas entanglements, and in addition to that we have growing ranks of nihilists, Marxists, who are committed to the destruction of the very country we live in,” he said in a 2019 speech at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Conference.
“On the other side are Americans,” he added.
Macgregor regularly accuses George Soros, a progressive businessman and philanthropist (and Media Matters donor) who is regularly the target of antisemitic conspiracy theories, of various misdeeds in the U.S. and abroad.
Macgregor alleged that “attorneys general who are Soros-backed individuals” are “committed to essentially tolerating criminality on a grand scale” as part of an effort “to fundamentally destroy what is left of the United States of America – its institutions, its national identity, its history, its culture” during a September 2021 interview.
He claimed that “major donors like Mr. Soros have had a hand in” organizing and funding caravans of Latin American migrants traveling to the United States later in the same interview.
Macgregor also claimed Soros financially supported migrant caravans and thus bears some “responsibility for the massive criminality pouring into the United States from Mexico” during a 2019 Fox appearance, as Media Matters previously documented.
Macgregor additionally accused Soros of using Ukraine as an “advance platform” to target Russia and treating Ukrainians as “cannon fodder,” and described him as “probably the shadow national security adviser for President Biden” during a recent podcast interview with Fox host Laura Ingraham.
Macgregor: Democrats may have stolen 2020 election
Macgregor falsely suggested after the 2020 election that it may have been rigged, echoing Trump’s Big Lie.
“As we know, we didn’t win the election – at least, President Trump was not inaugurated again, let’s put it that way,” he said in a September 2021 YouTube interview.
Macgregor expanded on that false conspiracy theory that Democrats use voter fraud to steal elections at an event the following month.
“We haven’t had a clean, fair election in Philadelphia since 1950, maybe,” he said. “You know the joke, everybody in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles votes whether they’re dead or not, and unfortunately there’s a lot of truth in that. In many states, where the left controls the polls, they’ll bring in large numbers of illegals.”
Similarly, Macgregor often invokes the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory – also favored by Carlson and several of his colleagues – to argue that Democrats are trying to replace the American population with more compliant non-white immigrants for political gain.
He explained during a May 2021 interview that Democrats aim to “turn the electorate blue … artificially” in order to “establish a permanent government that is dominated by the left, by the people that we're talking about, who are globalists, internationalists, Marxists, which is really the discussion, you do that by creating an electorate that couldn't reliably vote for you, and you do that by dividing the electorate, by dividing the country, by creating these categories, by destroying any sense of societal cohesion and unity."