In a video posted on X, formerly Twitter, the former Fox News anchor explained why he was platforming the Russian president in a 4 1/2-minute clip. He also accused the Western media of pushing pro-Ukraine “propaganda” and purposefully excluding Putin from its coverage.
Carlson, a harsh critic of U.S. funding for Ukraine’s fight against Russia, said American news outlets have been one-sided in their reporting on the war, which reignited in early 2021 after years of disputes over territory in the region.
Claiming “not a single Western journalist has bothered” to speak to Putin, Carlson said, “Americans have a right to know all they can about a war they’re implicated in.”
Why I'm interviewing Vladimir Putin. pic.twitter.com/hqvXUZqvHX
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) February 6, 2024
He went on to call the interview a matter of free speech, adding, “We are not here because we love Vladimir Putin. We are here because we love the United States and we want it to remain prosperous and free.”
After claiming Western governments would move to censor the interview, Carlson urged people to watch and learn “as much as you can.”
“And then, like a free citizen and not a slave, you can decide for yourself,” he concluded.
Carlson said that the “unedited” interview will be released free of charge on his website and X.
The right-wing figure has been making a habit of entertaining authoritarian leaders following his exit from Fox News last spring.
Since then, he has interviewed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Argentine President Javier Milei and, of course, former President Donald Trump.
While the Kremlin has appeared to welcome Carlson, other foreign journalists have not gotten the same courtesy.
American reporters Evan Gershkovich and Alsu Kurmasheva are both currently detained in Russia.