Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Feb. 5 that he could not comment on U.S. far-right political commentator Tucker Carlson's reported visit to Moscow or speculation that Carlson was there to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Carlson was spotted in Moscow on Feb. 3 attending a ballet at the famed Bolshoi theater, the Russian Telegram channel Mash reported. As of Feb. 5, Carlson has not publicly commented on his alleged trip to Russia.
The Russian-state controlled media outlet Izvestia posted a video on Feb. 5 showing someone identifying himself only as Alexey approaching Carlson and asking him why he is in Moscow.
It is unclear if Carlson was aware he was being filmed, as the video was taken from below with what appears to be a cellphone. When asked if he would interview Putin, Carlson said, "I don't know, we'll see."
"I just wanted to see Russia, I've read a lot about it and I wanted to talk to people," Carlson added.
The influential commentator formerly had the most popular political talkshow in U.S. cable news on the right-wing Fox News channel until he was dismissed in April 2023.
Carlson is an avid supporter of former President Donald Trump, and has been criticized for making controversial comments on air and social media, characterized by some as being nativist, racist, and pushing talking points that echo Russian propaganda.
Carlson told the Swiss newspaper Die Weltwoche in September 2023 that he had tried to interview Putin previously, but the U.S. government prevented him from proceeding.
"You're not allowed to hear Putin's voice. Because why? There was no vote on it. No one asked me. I'm 54 years old. I've paid my taxes and followed the law," said Carlson at the time.
The far-right Republican congresswoman and conspiracy theorist, Marjorie Taylor Greene, defended Carlson's reported visit to Russia, saying, "Democrats and their propagandists in the media are spasming at the prospect of Tucker Carlson interviewing Putin."
"We have a free press in this country and its (sic) people like Tucker Carlson who we depend on to speak the truth!"
Former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, an outspoken opponent of Trump and the far-right wing of the party, wrote on Twitter on Feb. 4 that Carlson is a "traitor" after pictures surfaced of him reportedly being in Russia.
It is supposedly the first time that Carlson has visited Russia.