Several media outlets criticised Carlson’s conversation with the leader on the Tucker Carlson Network, a new streaming platform that launched after the TV show host was fired from Fox News last year.
Wallace also worked for Fox News but left in 2021 after he found the network’s programming to be “unsustainable”.
Speaking on his new CNN show, The Chris Wallace Show, the host had a few choice words for his former colleague’s journalistic approach.
“Tucker Carlson showed up in Moscow this week to interview Vladimir Putin,” he said, adding “It turned out to be anything but an interview. Putin droned on for two hours and seven minutes while Tucker sat there like an eager puppy”.
Occasionally but rarely, the host said, “he got in a question”.
Wallace then further criticised Carlson’s line of questioning, including that the right-wing TV show host did not ask why Mr Putin invaded Ukraine, why his military is targeting civilians in the ongoing conflict or about the country’s war crimes.
“A reporter can ask Putin a tough question if he wants a real interview,” Wallace said before the programme cut to a clip of him interviewing Putin and asking “Why is it that so many of the people that oppose Vladimir Putin end up dead or close to it?”
He continued: “But apparently that’s not why Tucker went to Moscow. During the Cold War, guillible westerners who spread Soviet propaganda were dismissed as useful idiots but calling Tucker that is unfair to useful idiots.”
Hillary Clinton used the phrase “useful idiot” – a term used during the Cold War for westerners who spread Kremlin propaganda of their own accord – to refer to Carlson in a separate MSNBC interview before his sit-down with Mr Putin aired.
“He says things that are not true,” the former US Secretary of State said. “He parrots Vladimir Putin’s pack of lies about Ukraine, so I don’t see why Putin wouldn’t give him an interview because through him, he can continue to lie about what his objectives are in Ukraine and what he expects to see happen.”