Russian radio host confirms Tucker Carlson interviewed Putin in Moscow
Russian state media reported late Wednesday that the car allegedly used by the U.S. journalist had been observed departing from the president’s office, according to CNBC.
Alexei Venediktov, who used to lead the Echo of Moscow radio station known for its criticism of the Kremlin before it shut down amid media restrictions, shared on X that an interview between Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin had occurred.
“As far as I understand, Tucker Carlson got what he wanted,” posted Venediktov on Tuesday in Russian. The post was shared by The Financial Times’ Moscow bureau chief, Max Seddon. He wrote: “Russian journalistic gadfly Alexei Venediktov says Tucker Carlson has indeed interviewed Vladimir Putin while in Moscow.”
The Guardian correspondent Pjotr Sauer also shared the post, indicating that the interview had taken place. “Tucker Carlson has managed to interview Putin, according to Alexei Venediktov, the well-connected former editor of the Ekho Moskvy,” Sauer said.
Newsweek has not confirmed the report independently. The news outlet has reached out to the Tucker Carlson Network for comment via email.
Reports online mentioned that Carlson was seen at the Bolshoi Theater in the Russian capital. A video from a Kremlin-friendly outlet called Izvestia showed a journalist asking Carlson why he was in Russia and if he planned to interview Putin. Carlson didn’t confirm but said, “We’ll see.” According to the Mash Telegram channel, Carlson traveled to Moscow through Istanbul on February 1st.
Russian administration sees Tucker Carlson’s visit as opportunity
Carlson got fired by Fox News in April 2023. Some people said he talked like he was supporting Putin and criticizing Ukraine’s President Zelensky during the conflict in Ukraine. Because of this, Russian supporters praised him.
The administration of Putin is aiming to capitalize on Carlson’s trip to Moscow as a propaganda victory, according to Kremlin sources, The Moscow Times reported.
“Tucker has been expected here for a long time. He is welcome here,” a source close to the presidential administration told The Moscow Times. “Now everyone in the presidential administration has rolled up their sleeves and is working together.”
“Even without an interview, Carlson’s arrival is already a major benefit for the boss [Putin],” said a second source close to the Kremlin. “Look at what kind of reaction we’re already seeing ‘across the ocean.’ Tucker has a huge audience in the U.S.”