Tucker Carlson doesn’t need Russian protection – Kremlin
US journalist Tucker Carlson does not need Moscow’s protection after he recorded an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.
Carlson’s visit to Moscow for a sit-down with Putin earlier this week has triggered criticism in Western media, while some politicians have called for the former Fox News host to be slapped with sanctions.
“Is Carlson in need of our protection? I don’t think so. I think he can stand up for himself,” Peskov told journalists.
“Besides some completely insane voices coming from the US, there are also some sane voices there,” the presidential spokesman added.
Carlson’s interview with Putin has caused “extra hype” not only in America, but also in Russia, Peskov admitted, adding that this interest “is sometimes off the charts.”
However, he acknowledged the significance of the interview, predicting that it will “be read and discussed for many days.”
Every interview with Putin is “a very important event, especially the ones with foreign representatives,” Peskov added. “It’s important for us that as many people in the world as possible become familiar with the mindset and the point of view of the leader of the Russian state.”
Explaining why he wanted to talk to the Russian leader, Carlson earlier accused Western news outlets of “lying” to their audiences and of being biased in their coverage of the Ukraine conflict. “That’s wrong. Americans have the right to know all they can about a war they are implicated in,” he insisted.
Meanwhile, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has branded Carlson “a useful idiot” who “parrots Vladimir Putin’s pack of lies about Ukraine.” CNN has accused the former Fox News host of “doing the Russian authoritarian’s bidding” by interviewing Putin.
Bill Kristol, a former member of the Ronald Reagan administration, went as far as to call Carlson a “traitor,” urging the US authorities to bar him from re-entering the country until the full details of his Moscow trip were established.
Citing several current and former EU lawmakers, Newsweek reported that the EU could ban Carlson from entering the bloc due to his visit to Russia, although that claim was later debunked by Brussels. “Currently there are no discussions in the relevant EU bodies linked to... the American person who is in Moscow,” Peter Stano, the European Commission’s spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy, said.
Carlson’s interview with Putin is scheduled to be aired at 6pm EST (23:00 GMT) on Thursday. According to Peskov, it will also be available on the Kremlin website on Friday morning.