Espreso. Global

Tucker Carlson interviews Vladimir Putin: what does West think about it?

9 February, 2024 Friday

Carlson's interview with Putin didn't become a sensation for the Western media, as the outlets limited themselves to small stories that did not make the front pages

Russian leader Vladimir Putin gave an interview to American propagandist Tucker Carlson. The conversation, which lasted more than two hours, turned out to be a repetition of the Russian dictator's repeatedly voiced theses, which he now extended to the American audience. But what does the Western community think about this?

The Guardian: “Rambling, two-hour interview”

The British newspaper called the conversation a “rambling, two-hour interview” between the Russian leader and a pro-Trump commentator.

“It marked a new level of infamy for Carlson, who has frequently criticized US support for Ukraine, has referred to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, as a “Ukrainian pimp” and “rat-like”. Carlson’s tone was less pugnacious in the interview with Putin, who he referred to as “Mr President” throughout, the publication writes. 

“Putin spent more than 30 minutes giving a history of Russia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, in a monologue that took viewers from the ninth century rule of Oleg the Wise, to the struggles of the 1300s, through to a critique of Lenin’s foreign policy. When a baffled-looking Carlson finally coaxed Putin into the 21st century, the Russian president accused the US and other western countries of prolonging the war in Ukraine.”

The New York Times: “Familiar Kremlin history lesson”

The publication spoke quite harshly about Carlson's interview with Putin.

“Much of the interview constituted a familiar Kremlin history lesson about Russia’s historical claim to Eastern European lands, beginning in the ninth century, that Mr. Putin made little effort to distill for American ears. He opined on artificial intelligence, Genghis Khan and the Roman Empire. He also laid out his well-worn and spurious justifications for invading Ukraine, asserting that Russia’s goal was to “stop this war” that he claims the West is waging against Russia,” the publication says.

Speaking to Carlson, Putin also called on the US to “make an agreement” to cede Ukrainian territory to Russia in order to end the war.

““Don’t you have anything better to do?” Mr. Putin said in response to Mr. Carlson’s question about the possibility of American soldiers fighting in Ukraine. “You have issues on the border, issues with migration, issues with the national debt.” He went on: “Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate with Russia?””

Time: “Carlson did little to challenge Putin”

The Time journalists emphasized that the former Fox News employee was welcomed in Moscow despite the fact that the Kremlin has introduced the harshest repression in decades to suppress domestic criticism of the war. They also reminded that opponents of Russia's invasion of Ukraine have been imprisoned or fled into exile, and that lawmakers last month unanimously passed a new law that allows the state to confiscate the property of anyone convicted of discrediting the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine.

“The interview took place as more than $60 billion of U.S. military aid to Ukraine is mired in partisan bickering, with Biden blaming Trump for sinking the most recent attempt in Congress to reach a deal. Ukraine has warned it’s running low on ammunition to defend itself against Russian forces occupying parts of the country’s east and south,” the publication says.

“Over more than two hours, Carlson did little to challenge Putin as the Russian leader laid out his claims for why the US and its allies are to blame for the war in Ukraine.”

Politico: “Who blew up Nord Stream? You for sure”

Carlson asked Putin about the attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea in September 2022, which sparked an interesting conversation.

“Who blew up Nord Stream?” Carlson asked. Putin responded: “You for sure.” Carlson responded: “I was busy that day. I did not blow up Nord Stream.”

“Putin jokingly parried back that while Carlson personally had an alibi for the day of the bombings, the CIA had none. The Russian didn’t present any evidence to back up his accusations — which Washington has repeatedly denied — arguing instead that only the U.S. would have the capability and interest in blowing up the pipeline.”

European Commission: “Putin is a chronic liar”

European Commission spokesman Peter Stano says that the European Commission is not preparing proposals to add former American TV host Tucker Carlson, who interviewed Vladimir Putin, to the sanctions list.

"We can all assume what Putin might say. I mean, he's a chronic liar who just spreads lies about his war of aggression against Ukraine... The only surprise might be when Putin starts crying and says he failed in everything he said in February 2022. And I apologize to the Ukrainian people, but I think then we will thank Mr. Carlson for this interview," Stano said.

White House warns against believing ‘anything’ Putin says in interview

Hours before Tucker Carlson dropped his interview with Vladimir Putin, the White House delivered a message to viewers during the daily press briefing.

“Remember, you’re listening to Vladimir Putin,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said. “You shouldn’t take it face value, anything he has to say.”

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