White House Fury Over Tucker Carlson Interviewing Putin
The White House said Wednesday that Vladimir Putin should not be given another mouthpiece to justify his war in Ukraine, after right-wing US talk show host Tucker Carlson interviewed the Russian president.
The former Fox News host, a key ally of 2024 election candidate Donald Trump and a vocal opponent to US military aid for Kyiv, traveled to Moscow for Putin’s first interview with a Western journalist since Russia’s February 2022 invasion.
“It should be very obvious to everybody what Mr Putin has done in Ukraine, and the completely bogus and ridiculous reasons for which he tried to justify it,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters aboard Air Force One.
“I don’t think we need another interview with Vladimir Putin to understand his brutality.”
Carlson has not said when the interview will be broadcast but mentioned it will be free to watch. After being sacked by Fox News last year, he started a show on the Elon Musk-owned social media platform X, formerly Twitter.
Carlson’s visit to Moscow has been covered heavily by Russian state media, which has long highlighted the US celebrity’s anti-Ukraine talking points.
Carlson’s access to Putin is a huge contrast with restraints on other foreign journalists in Russia, where two US citizens — Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and Radio Free Europe’s Alsu Kurmasheva — are currently imprisoned.
The open doors for Carlson also come against the backdrop of the Kremlin’s two-decades-long dismantling of the free press, with prominent Russian journalists murdered and many more forced to live abroad under Putin.