Tucker Carlson thinks Americans don’t adequately understand Vladimir Putin — or why the Russian president invaded Ukraine — and the ex-Fox News host is willing to let Putin tell his side of the story.
In a post Tuesday (Feb. 6) on X announcing the Putin interview, Carlson said “there are risks to conducting an interview like this, obviously,” without elaborating. He said he was in Moscow on his own dime because English-speaking news outlets are “corrupt” and “lie” to their viewers and listeners, and he feels there’s a need to ask Putin questions directly about the war.
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Carlson said he is interviewing Putin, who launched Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two years ago, to inform people in the U.S. and elsewhere who have been misled by traditional news media in their countries. Since Putin’s army invaded Ukraine in February 2022, “not a single Western journalist has bothered to interview the president of the other country in this conflict: Vladimir Putin,” Carlson said in the video. “That’s wrong. Americans have a right to know about a war they’re implicated in.”
“We are not here because we love Vladimir Putin,” Carlson said. “We are here because we love the United States.” Carlson didn’t say exactly when or where the Putin interview would be conducted but said it would take place “soon.”
Carlson’s insinuation that Western journalists have not attempted to interview with Putin is false. The Russian government has denied news outlets’ numerous requests to speak with Putin. Meanwhile, Russia in March 2022 passed a law making it illegal to publish “false information” about the regime’s military, prompting many news organizations to extricate their staff members from the country. Russia arrested and imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in March 2023 on espionage charges, which the Journal and the U.S. government have strongly denied.
“Does Tucker really think we journalists haven’t been trying to interview President Putin every day since his full scale invasion of Ukraine?” CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour wrote in a post on X. “It’s absurd — we’ll continue to ask for an interview, just as we have for years now.”
The interview with Putin will be posted on Carlson’s own website — for free — which he launched several months after being ousted from his perch as one of Fox News’ most popular on-air personalities. The Putin interview will also be shared on Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter), he said. Carlson predicted that Western governments will “do their best to censor” his interview with Putin on other internet platforms.
Carlson said he has submitted a request to interview Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy that he hopes is accepted. But he criticized the “scores” of U.S. interviews that have been conducted with Zelenskyy in the past two years as not traditional interviews but rather “fawning pep sessions” that are aimed at persuading the U.S. to intervene in the defense of Ukraine in the war, Carlson alleged: “That is not journalism. That is government propaganda.”
In December, Carlson launched the Tucker Carlson Network as “an alternative to legacy media.” The site promises subscribers unlimited access to various Carlson shows, speeches, films and investigative reports, as well as “Access to Tucker’s personal inbox to ask him anything that’s on your mind as part of weekly Ask Tucker episodes.” A membership to TCN costs $9 per month or $72 per year.
Carlson launched a talk show on X in June 2023, a little over a month after he lost his job hosting “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News. Going forward, Carlson’s website said, he will continue to post clips on X and other social platforms but that TCN is “home to his full library of independent work.”
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