Tucker Carlson Interview with Putin: American host explains why

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Tucker Carlson, a conservative American talk show host, has revealed he is in Moscow to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We’re here to interview the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin. We’ll be doing that soon,” Carlson said in a video posted on X.

“There are risks to conducting an interview like this obviously. So we’ve thought about it carefully over many months.”

Carlson, known for radical conservative opinions, did not specify when the interview will be broadcast but mentioned that it will be free to watch on his personal website.

After being ousted last April from a prime time hosting slot on the influential right-wing network Fox News, Carlson launched a show on the Elon Musk-owned social media platform.

In the video, he explained his reasons for travelling to Moscow – a self-financed trip – to interview Putin.

The trip and growing rumours that Carlson was set to meet with the Kremlin leader have already drawn strong rebukes from liberal American media commentators.

According to a Telegram channel, Mash, run by the Russian police, the former Fox News anchor arrived in Moscow on February 4.

He has since been spotted socialising with Russian oligarchs and attending a performance at the Bolshoi Theatre.

In explaining why he interviewed the reclusive world leader, Tucker told his followers: “First because it’s our job. We’re in journalism.”

“Our duty is to inform people. Two years into a war (with Ukraine) that is reshaping the entire world, most Americans are not informed,” he added.

“They have no real idea what is happening in this region. Here in Russia or 600 miles away in Ukraine. But they should know.

“They’re paying for much of it.”

US and other international media have been covering the conflict in Ukraine intensively since the Russian assault began two years ago.

However, Carlson’s access to Putin would be a huge contrast with the restraints on US journalists in Russia, where two US citizens – Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and Radio Free Europe’s Alsu Kurmasheva – are in detention.

The announcement comes as President Joe Biden said Tuesday that Congress will play into the Kremlin’s hands if it fails to renew US funding for Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s attack.

Biden blamed Trump for playing politics with US security.

The “clock is ticking” for Ukraine, Biden said, calling out the former president and his likely 2024 rival for discouraging lawmakers from passing a $118 billion bill that ties Ukraine aid to immigration curbs and which Republicans have threatened to block.

As a Fox News host, Carlson massed a record viewership.

He aired numerous controversial opinions – from the “great replacement” of white Americans to vaccine falsehoods and anti-transgender propaganda – and was found to have spread disinformation, particularly Trump’s baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election.

He was ousted after a defamation case in which Dominion Voting Systems accused Fox News of airing false claims after the election.

Carlson moved his show to X, where his videos have been viewed more than 100 million times.

Fox News has launched a legal battle to halt his shows, arguing they violate the terms of his contract.

His trip has gained the suport of some conservatives in the US.

“Democrats and their propagandists in the media are spasming at the prospect of Tucker Carlson interviewing Putin,” outspoken Georgia Republican Congressional Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene posted to social media at the weekend.

“We have a free press in this country, and it is people like Tucker Carlson, who we depend on to speak the truth!”

– With Jamie Seidel and AFP