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Tucker Carlson to interview Vladimir Putin in Moscow

Former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson confirmed Tuesday that he will be interviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin. He claimed to be the first person from Western media to do so since the start of Moscow's invasion into Ukraine nearly two years ago, although the Kremlin disputed that he was the first one to try.

In a statement posted to social media, Carlson said he will interview Putin "because it's our job. We're in journalism. Our duty is to inform people." 

"Western governments will certainly do their best to censor this video ... Because that's what they do," Carlson adds in the video.

The Kremlin confirmed that Carlson will be interviewing Putin. Carlson said the interview will be posted on his website. 

Carlson had been spotted around Moscow, and he teased a possible Putin interview in a discussion with a Russian reporter from state channel Izvestia, saying, "We'll see." 

Former President Trump Addresses The Turning Points Action Conference In West Palm Beach, California
Tucker Carlson speaks at the Turning Point Action conference on July 15, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Joe Raedle / Getty Images

"I wanted to talk to people and look around," he told the reporter about his visit to Russia.

Telegram channel Mash first reported that Carlson was seen in Moscow, and published a photo of him at the famous Bolshoi Theater attending the ballet "Spartacus." According to the channel, it is Carlson's first trip to Russia and he has been there since Feb. 1.

Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on speculation that Carlson may interview Putin.

"Many foreign journalists come to Russia every day, many continue to work here, and we welcome this," Peskov told the press on Monday. "We have nothing to announce in terms of the president's interviews to foreign media."

Moscow has imprisoned two American journalists for reporting within Russia since the beginning of the war in Ukraine — Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, and dual Russian-American citizen Alsu Kurmasheva, an editor for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

In Carlson's X statement, he alleged that the Western media is misleading its audience about the war in Ukraine.

"Their media outlets are corrupt. They lie to their readers and viewers, and they do that mostly by omission," said Carlson. 

CBS News, like many other U.S. media outlets, has submitted requests on multiple occasions to Russian authorities for an interview with Putin, but has not been granted one since the Russian military launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago.

Carlson is a known figure on Russian state television and has a history of praising Putin while speaking critically of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

Russian state media often airs segments from Carlson to cast doubt on American institutions and political leaders. Recently, Russian state media seized on Carlson's claims that former President Donald Trump is being unfairly prosecuted in the U.S. Putin described the indictments against Trump as an example of "the rot in the American political system, which cannot claim to be able to teach others about democracy."

In September, Carlson expressed interest in interviewing Putin in an interview with Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche. 

"I tried to interview Vladimir Putin, but the U.S. government stopped me," said Carlson. "Think about that for a minute."

"Well, you're not allowed to hear Putin's voice, 'cuz why?" Carlson asked.

After being fired by Fox News, Carlson launched his own show on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter. On the first episode of the show he employed antisemitic tropes when describing Zelenskyy, who is Jewish.

"Ukraine, as you may have heard, is led by a man called Zelenskyy," said Carlson. "Sweaty and rat-like, a comedian-turned-oligarch, a persecutor of Christians." Comparing Jewish people with rats was a strategy commonly used by Nazi propaganda.

The war in Ukraine will enter its third year at the end of the month. In December, Putin told constituents that there will be no peace in Ukraine until Russia achieves its goals.

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