Tucker Carlson in Russia, possibly to meet Putin
Right-wing pundit Tucker Carlson is in Moscow, where rumors are swirling that he’ll interview Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We’ll see,” Carlson replied when pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia asked the former Fox News star if that was his intention Monday.
Independent outlet the Moscow Times said Carlson, who has been frequently criticized for amplifying pro-Russian talking points, has been in Moscow for several days and attended a weekend performance at the Bolshoi Theater.
The Kremlin didn’t deny Carlson was trying to meet with Putin, but told reporters there was “nothing to announce at this moment.”
Carlson told Izvestia he wanted to see Moscow and talk to people.
“I read so much about it,” he said.
Russia, which has been especially hostile toward journalists since Putin ordered troops into Ukraine in February 2022, banned “media outlets from unfriendly countries” from covering its showpiece international economic forum in June.
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was arrested on espionage charges in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg in March, where he was covering a story. The Wall Street Journal denied he was spying and the U.S. government denounced Gershkovich’s ongoing detention.
The Kremlin, in turn, promotes Carlson’s reporting, which is sometimes featured on Russian state-run media. Citing an internal Kremlin memo from 2022, U.S. outlet Mother Jones said Russian officials consider his broadcasts “essential” to their country’s narrative.
Carlson critics have mocked the conspiratorial broadcaster as a “useful idiot” easily manipulated into doing the bidding of U.S adversaries.
Supporters believe Carlson might get a candid interview out of Putin.
“ Why shouldn’t Tucker Carlson interview Vladimir Putin? ” conservative media outlet The Spectator asked Monday, calling him “a proper journalist.”
Carlson’s newly formed media company The Tucker Carlson Network hasn’t replied to a request for comment.
Carlson was cut loose from Fox News in April after the right-wing cable channel settled its $787 million suit with Dominion Voting Systems. He now posts interviews on Elon Musk’s social media platform X.
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