Former Fox News host and far-right commentator Tucker Carlson announced he will soon conduct an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, confirming rumors about his controversial visit to Russia.
Carlson, who has openly defended Putin and is known to have echoed some elements of the Kremlin's anti-Western propaganda, was spotted in Moscow in recent days.
His visit to the Russian capital led to speculation that he might have achieved his long-stated goal of interviewing Putin, which would make him the first American figure to be granted a formal interview with him since the launch of Russia's full-scale invasion.
Carlson posted a video on X seemingly taken in Russia titled "Why I'm Interviewing Vladimir Putin" on Feb. 6.
"Most Americans have no idea why Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine or what his goals are now," Carlson claimed in the video. "They've never heard his voice. That's wrong."
He continued on to claim that Western news outlets have failed to inform global audiences of the "true nature" of Russia's war against Ukraine, suggesting that previous interviews with President Volodymyr Zelensky have not been examples of journalism, but of "government propaganda."
Carlson is an avid supporter of former U.S. 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 previously tried to interview Putin, 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.
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."
It is supposedly the first time that Carlson has visited Russia.