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Tucker Carlson's interview with Putin to air Thursday

by Dmytro Basmat and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 8, 2024 7:17 AM 2 min read
Tucker Carlson speaks onstage in Los Angeles, U.S., on Oct. 21, 2018. (Rich Polk/Getty Images for Politicon )
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Former Fox News host and far-right commentator Tucker Carlson announced on social media that his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin will air on Thursday, Feb. 8.

The interview, which was recorded on Tuesday, is slated to air at 6 p.m. eastern time on Carlson's website.

Carlson, who has openly defended Putin and is known to have echoed some elements of the Kremlin's anti-Western propaganda, will broadcast Putin's first interview with a Western media figure since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Carlson announced his interview with Putin on X in a video 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."

Ahead of Carlson's interview, the Kremlin had denied all previous requests by Western media outlets to interview Putin about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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.

In on-air comments, Carlson has also expressed skepticism for further U.S. military support for Ukraine.

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.

Back in the United States, Carlson's interview has drawn both praise and condemnation from both Democrats and Republicans.

“He is a traitor,” former Representative Adam Kinzinger, wrote in a message, referring to Carlson.

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."

US Senate blocks Ukraine, Israel aid bill
A procedural vote on a bill that includes Ukraine aid, funds for Israel, and changes to U.S. border policy failed to get enough votes in the U.S. Senate on Feb. 7.


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