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7 Feb, 2024 08:19

Musk responds to calls for Tucker Carlson’s arrest

Anyone demanding that the journalist be detained for interviewing Vladimir Putin should themselves be arrested, the billionaire has argued
Musk responds to calls for Tucker Carlson’s arrest

Anyone calling for the arrest of US journalist Tucker Carlson over his plan to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin should themselves be detained, billionaire Elon Musk has suggested.

Carlson arrived in Moscow last weekend, saying he intended to show Americans an unfiltered Russian position on the Ukraine conflict and the broader tensions between Moscow and the West. The former Fox News host accused the mainstream media of failing to provide the full picture due to political reasons, and said Musk had promised not to suppress the distribution on X (formerly Twitter) of his planned interview with Putin.

There has been speculation about the potential risks to Carlson in his homeland due to his trip to Russia. Malaysia-based conservative blogger Ian Miles Cheong has suggested that he “could become the next Julian Assange,” noting that “politicians and establishment media shills” have been calling for Carlson’s arrest.

“Arrest those calling for his arrest!” Musk responded in a post on X.

WikiLeaks founder Assange is currently in a British prison, fighting a US extradition request. Washington has indicted him with crimes related to the way whistleblower Chelsea Manning obtained classified materials on the US military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, some of which were damning for the American government.

Supporters say Assange, who has not had full freedom since 2012, is being persecuted by the US and its allies for exposing their dirty secrets. He was jailed in 2019 after Ecuador revoked the political asylum that had allowed him to stay at the country’s embassy in London, enabling British law enforcement to arrest him.

Some public figures in the US have accused Carlson of harboring sympathies for Putin, and of intending to spread “Russian propaganda” by interviewing him. Even before the goal of Carlson’s visit to Moscow was confirmed, neoconservative writer Bill Kristol urged the US government to prevent the journalist from returning home, “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Carlson has insisted that he does not like the Russian leader, but said it is important for the American public to hear Putin’s views on the Ukraine conflict and the tensions between Moscow and Washington, considering what’s at stake. He also accused the American government of trying to prevent him from interviewing Putin, a notion that White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dismissed as “ridiculous.”