Controversy surrounds Tucker Carlson’s trip to Russia, sparking rumors of a potential interview with Putin

Tucker Carlson, the former Fox News host who has a show on X, has been spotted in Moscow, leading to speculation that he is about to achieve his long-stated goal of interviewing President Vladimir V. Putin. He would be the first American media figure to land a formal interview with the Russian leader since he invaded Ukraine nearly two years ago. Mr. Putin’s spokesman has indicated that Mr. Putin was denying requests from Western new outlets because their countries had been “stupefied” by anti-Russian propaganda. On Monday, Mr. Peskov said, “As for possible interviews with the president, including with foreign media, we have nothing to report at the moment.” Russian media has treated Mr. Carlson like a visiting celebrity, offering photos and videos of his various stops in Moscow. Mr. Carlson has been a defender of Mr. Putin while attacking his Western critics, placing him at the vanguard of a pro-Putin wing of the American conservative movement. Less than a year ago, Mr. Carlson was the host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News. Fox abruptly canceled his program last spring. As photographs and video of Mr. Carlson in Moscow began circulating on social media over the weekend, his fans reveled in their hope that an interview was in the offing. News of his arrival in Russia received a warm reaction in Moscow. Mr. Carlson’s commentaries were often featured on Russian state television, including those that portrayed Ukraine’s president as a “dictator” waging a “regime change” war against Russia at the behest of American and British masters. Mr. Carlson has claimed without evidence that the U.S. government had thwarted his past attempt to interview Mr. Putin. He has promoted his show on X as a bastion of free speech. Mr. Putin has intensified his curtailment of free speech in Russia during the Ukrainian war. Media outlets in the country were ordered to refer to as a “special military operation.”

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