- In a post on his Instagram account on Wednesday, Carlson said the sit-down, which has already been recorded, would be broadcast at 6 p.m. Eastern
- The former Fox News host, a key ally of 2024 election candidate Donald Trump and a vocal opponent to US military aid for Ukraine
- Hilary Clinton, speaking on MSNBC Wednesday, joked that she ‘would not be surprised if he emerges with a contract with a Russian outlet’
Tucker Carlson‘s interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin will air on Thursday on X and his own website, the talk show host announced, while Hillary Clinton called him a ‘useful idiot’ for doing so.
In a post on his Instagram account on Wednesday, Carlson said the sit-down, which has already been recorded, would be broadcast at 6 p.m. Eastern on his website and the social media platform.
The former Fox News host, a key ally of 2024 election candidate Donald Trump and a vocal opponent to US military aid for Ukraine, traveled to Moscow for Putin’s first interview with a Western journalist since Russia’s February 2022 invasion.
Hilary Clinton, speaking on MSNBC Wednesday, joked that she ‘would not be surprised if he emerges with a contract with a Russian outlet, because he is a useful idiot’ in response to the news.
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.
His hit show on Fox came to an end in April, days after the right-wing cable network paid a settlement approaching $800 million to end a defamation case over false allegations that ballot-counting company Dominion Voting Systems had helped steal the 2020 presidential election from Trump.
He has since broadcasted shows on X, formerly Twitter, but his interview with Putin represents his biggest score since his departure from Fox.
Carlson’s surprise scoop also comes as US aid to Ukraine has dried up due to Republican opposition in Washington, leaving Ukrainian forces scrambling for ammunition.
Democrats in the US Senate are due to make a fresh attempt Thursday to restore US military funding to Ukraine, after a first vote on a multibillion-dollar aid package failed amid Republican chaos.
But the package’s future is unclear in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Clinton, speaking to Alex Wagner on the left-leaning network, said it made perfect sense why Putin would do the interview.
‘He says things that are not true. He parrots Vladimir Putin’s pack of lies about Ukraine, so I don’t see why Putin wouldn’t give him an interview,’ she said.
Despite her opining that Carlson has a future at a Russian outlet, she believes the country’s media looks down at him.
‘If you actually read translations of what is being said on Russian media, they make fun of him …he’s like a puppy dog’, Clinton said.
Carlson, 54, previously said the interview would air ‘unedited’ on his website, without a paywall, and on X, making him the first American to interview Putin since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.
‘Two years into a war that’s reshaping the entire world, most Americans are not informed,’ the conservative commentator said of the conflict in Ukraine. ‘They have no real idea what’s happening in this region. But they should know, they’re paying for much of it in ways they might not fully perceive.’
Russian state media outlet Sputnik aired footage on Monday which it said showed Carlson’s car leaving the Kremlin.
‘Americans have a right to know all they can about a war they’re implicated in,’ Carlson added in the four-minute clip taken in Moscow.
He went on to call the world’s English-language media corrupt, claiming they ‘lie to their readers and viewers’ and that ‘it is his duty to inform’ the public.
Carlson repeated the unconfirmed claim that the Biden administration illegally spied on him three years ago to stop him from interviewing Putin. He then claimed the federal government ‘did the same thing once again.’
‘But this time, we came to Moscow anyway,’ he said, adding that he paid for the trip himself, ‘and did not take money from any government or group.’
‘We are not here because we love Vladimir Putin. We are here because we love the United States and want it to remain prosperous and free,’ Carlson claimed.
The commentator also stated that Elon Musk had ‘promised not to suppress or block this interview.’
‘Western governments, by contrast, will certainly do their best to censor this video and other less principled platforms because that’s what they do,’ Carlson added.
The video statement comes after days of speculation over Carlson’s trip to Moscow, and whether it would include an interview with the tyrant.
Putin has not sat down with an American journalist since June 2021, when he spoke with NBC’s Keir Simmons.
Veteran journalist Christiane Amanpour responded to Carlson’s video message, noting that western journalists indeed have made attempts to interview Putin.
She wrote: ‘Does Tucker really think we journalists haven’t been trying to interview President Putin every day since his full scale invasion of Ukraine? It’s absurd — we’ll continue to ask for an interview, just as we have for years now.’
Russian state media fueled the rumors on Monday, posting a video they claimed showed Carlson leaving the Russian Presidential Administration. The outlet, however, would still not confirm the interview took place.
The former Fox News star also kept his cards close to the chest on Monday, after Russian media showed pictures of him at several spots around Moscow, including at a box at the Bolshoi Theatre and eating at a hotel.
‘It is beautiful,’ Carlson said of Moscow in an interview aired by the Izvestia newspaper. ‘I just wanted to see it because, you know, I have read so much about it but I have never seen it before.’
When asked if he was in Moscow to interview Putin, Carlson said: ‘We’ll see’ and smiled.
The Kremlin has also refused to confirm it Putin would be sitting down with the American podcaster.
Carlson reportedly arrived in the capital on February 1 and was spotted at a Spartacus performance in the Bolshoi Theatre.
Back in 2021, Carlson claimed the National Security Agency began ‘spying’ on him after he said he was trying to interview Putin.
Carlson said that his communications were intercepted by the NSA, and that his identity – which should by law have been kept a secret – was ‘unmasked’ by senior intelligence officials.
He claimed that the content of his emails and texts was then disseminated, in a bid to discredit him.
Stephen M. Lepore