Tucker Carlson shies away from tough questions in Putin interview

Putin sits down with Tucker Carlson

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson may be the first journalist from the West to interview Russian president Vladimir Putin since the invasion of Ukraine in March 2021, but he left plenty of questions unasked during his two-hour interview.

The interview, conducted on Tuesday and aired on X and Carlson’s website on Friday (Australian time), covered the Ukraine war, Elon Musk and an American journalist detained in Russia.

Justifying war

But two major subjects went unraised: Alleged Russian interference in American politics and the banning of antiwar candidates in the upcoming Russian elections.

“If you don’t mind, I’ll give you a 30-second or one-minute reference to history,” Putin said.

The answer Putin gave, however, was nearly half an hour long and had little insight into the conflict, aside from reaffirming that the president believes Ukraine belongs to the Russian empire for historical reasons.

Putin said Ukraine was ready to sign a peace deal earlier in the year, but plans were scuppered because of the West’s insistence on war.

He said Russia would not lose the war, no matter how long it continued, and that America and European countries funding Ukraine were to blame for the bloodshed.

“It is absolutely out of the question,” he said.

“You just don’t have to be any kind of analyst, it goes against common sense to get involved in some kind of a global war, and a global war will bring all of humanity to the brink of devastation.”

Putin said the only situation where Poland would come under attack from Moscow was if the NATO member first attacked Russia.

“We have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere else,” he said.

“Why would we do that? We simply don’t have any interest.”

Putin repeatedly falsely claimed that Ukraine started the war. Photo: Tucker Carlson Network

Musk admirer

Putin praised Elon Musk because “there’s no stopping” the Telsa and SpaceX CEO.

“He will do as he sees fit. Nevertheless, you’ll need to find some common ground with him. Search for ways to persuade him. I think he’s a smart person, I truly believe he is,” Putin said when asked about AI.

“You’ll need to reach an agreement with him because this process needs to be formalised and subjected to certain rules.”

Putin previously called Musk an “outstanding person” after he blocked internet access during a Ukrainian military operation.

Questions left unsaid

Carlson made several false statements in the lead-up to the interview, including that no Western journalist had tried to interview the Russian president since the invasion of Ukraine.

This was quickly debunked by anchors and reporters at multiple outlets, who made it clear they had been rebuffed by the Russian state. Moscow also confirmed Carlson’s claim wasn’t true.

One major subject that Carlson refused to ask about was how anti-war candidates were being forced off the ballot in this year’s Russian presidential elections.

While the interview occurred before Boris Nadezhdin was struck off for dubious administrative reasons, other candidates who oppose the war have suffered the same result when trying to register for the election.

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