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7 Feb, 2024 09:43

White House denies ‘ridiculous’ Tucker Carlson claims

The former Fox host alleges that the Biden administration wanted to derail his plans to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin
White House denies ‘ridiculous’ Tucker Carlson claims

Allegations that the administration of US President Joe Biden tried to stop journalist Tucker Carlson from interviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin are “ridiculous”, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a daily press briefing on Tuesday.

The former Fox News host interviewed Putin on Tuesday, the Kremlin has confirmed. Carlson however, has claimed that Washington has consistently attempted to block his overtures to the Russian president.

”Almost three years ago, the Biden administration illegally spied on our text messages and then leaked their contents to their servants in the news media. They did this in order to stop a Putin interview that we were planning,” he asserted. “Last month, we’re pretty certain they did exactly the same thing once again. But this time, we came to Moscow anyway.”

Asked about Carlson’s allegation, Jean-Pierre initially said she would “absolutely not” comment, but later changed her mind.

”It’s a ridiculous premise and a ridiculous statement that was made about this administration,” she said.

Carlson has claimed on several occasions that while trying to arrange a one-on-one with Putin, he found out from a source that his communications were being intercepted by US intelligence. He said his messages were quoted back to him verbatim, confirming the surveillance.

The NSA has denied targeting the journalist, but the Axios news website has partially corroborated his story, citing unnamed US government officials who said the government indeed had learned about his efforts to secure an interview with Putin. The outlet suggested that “US-based Kremlin intermediaries” contacted by Carlson had leaked the communications.

The journalist, how hosts a show on X (formerly Twitter) stated in his preview that the American media were failing to properly inform the public about the nature of the Ukraine conflict and the wider confrontation between the US and Russia. He said he had the backing of X owner Elon Musk, who vowed not to block the interview on his platform.

”Western governments, by contrast, will certainly do their best to censor this video on other, less principled platforms, because that’s what they do. They are afraid of information they can’t control” he predicted.

President Putin’s office has given no indication that such an interview has been approved. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Monday that he would “not comment on the movements of the American journalist.”

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