- Written by Tiffany Wertheimer
- BBC News, London
Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson said he plans to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow “soon.”
In a video posted to X (formerly Twitter), Carlson said he wanted to be interviewed because “Americans have a right to know everything they can about the wars they are involved in.”
This will be Putin’s first one-on-one interview with a Western journalist since he launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
The Kremlin has not yet commented.
The 54-year-old’s visit to Moscow has been enthusiastically reported in Russian state media, with his every move covered almost constantly.
“There are obviously risks in conducting interviews like this, so we’ve been thinking about it for months,” Carlson said. in his presentation video.
Carlson said he paid for his own trip to Russia but wanted to do the interview because “most Americans are uninformed” about the conflict that is “reshaping the world” and blamed mainstream media. he added.
He said Western journalists have interviewed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom he previously called “the dictator,” many times since the Ukraine war began.
But Carlson argued they were “pandering pep sessions” aimed at amplifying Zelenskiy’s demands for greater U.S. involvement in the war.
“That’s not journalism. That’s government propaganda.”
As for President Vladimir Putin, Carlson said, “not a single Western journalist bothered to interview him.”
Steve Rosenberg, the BBC’s Russia editor, posted that the BBC had “made several requests to the Kremlin over the past 18 months. For us, the answer was always ‘no’.”
Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has devastated the country and its people.
The United Nations says the Russian military is responsible for rape, “widespread” torture and killings in Ukraine.
Russia illegally occupied Crimea in 2014 and subsequently annexed four other regions of Ukraine.
Inside Russia, journalists are under extreme reporting restrictions, and the media is prohibited from calling this a “war”, instead calling it a “special military operation.”
Tucker Carlson has been an outspoken defender of Putin since the war began. Just before the invasion of Russia, he claimed that “hating Putin has become a central objective of American foreign policy,” but he urged viewers to ask themselves why.
“Has President Putin ever called me a racist? Has he ever threatened to fire me if I disagree with his views?” Carlson asked as Russian troops began massing on the Ukrainian border. He said: “These are fair questions, and the answer to all of them is ‘no. President Vladimir Putin has done nothing of the kind.'”
After Russia invaded, he changed his tone slightly on another show, saying, “Vladimir Putin started this war…What we’re seeing tonight in Ukraine is his fault.”
It’s unclear when exactly the interview will take place, but Carlson said it will be uploaded live, unedited, to the X account. The platform’s owner, Elon Musk, “promised not to suppress or obstruct interviews.”
Tucker Carlson was one of America’s most acclaimed cable TV hosts until he abruptly left Fox News last year.
While on the US network, his shows frequently set the agenda for conservatives and even Republicans.
He was an influential late-night political talk show anchor from 2016 to 2023 before launching his own show on X.