Kremlin Reveals How Ball Got Rolling With Tucker Carlson’s Putin Interview Proposal
10:04 GMT 11.02.2024 (Updated: 12:12 GMT 11.02.2024)
Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson's interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, released Thursday, lasted more than two hours and covered a range of topics, including the Ukraine conflict, sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline, and Russia-NATO relations.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told reporters that Tucker Carlson himself proposed the interview with Vladimir Putin and that the president quickly agreed.
He also noted that the West is becoming more and more unpredictable, and that the Kremlin had concerns even before the interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin
that there would be a "persecution" of Tucker Carlson.
"Given that the collective West is becoming more and more unpredictable and that it is willing to do absolutely anything, there were certain fears that even before the interview there would be some persecution of poor Carlson," Peskov said.
Peskov believes that Tucker Carlson foresaw the heated sentiments around the interview with Vladimir Putin, but that it added to the popularity of the American journalist.
"He’s still having a hard time, as far as I'm aware. But he is a clever enough man, I think he foresaw things would get heated. It's fair to say that this interview has greatly raised his popularity," Peskov said.
US officials have actively warned against watching and reading US journalist Tucker Carlson's interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin because they do not want the latter's true worldview to become known to ordinary Americans, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday.
"Putin is sending such a message to an international audience as well, not just to the US ... Not everyone wants to hear it. We can see US officials calling this interview useless, and strongly advising against reading it. They don't want Putin's true worldview to be made known to ordinary Americans," Peskov said.
Despite opposition from the Western elites, the interview's main goal — of Putin being heard and seen — has already been successfully achieved, the spokesman added.
"The figures that we see now, the figures of the first views — they all exceed the ratings of the most rated broadcasters in the world, and significantly exceed," he added.
Since the beginning of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, many Western broadcasters and journalists have also asked for interviews with the Russian president, but there is no point for Putin to talk to them as they are not trying to convey balanced information to the general public, Peskov explained. Carlson is different from the rest in this sense, he added.
Russia prefers a peaceful solution to the Ukraine conflict, especially given that its decision to launch the special military operation was an "extreme measure" implemented after the very possibility of any discussions of its legitimate concerns was ruled out, Kremlin spokesman said.
"Moving on to a military solution to this problem was an extreme measure, [implemented] after we were denied any discussion of our legitimate concerns. Therefore, the most important thing for us is to achieve our goals, preferably peacefully. If this peaceful way is rejected by the other side, then the special military operation will continue," Peskov said.
The goals of Russia's special military operation were relevant even before it was launched in February 2022, the spokesman stated, adding that Putin had on many occasions suggested that Moscow's relevant concerns be addressed through dialogue.
On Thursday night, Carlson published his interview
with the Russian president, which lasted for over two hours. Prior to that, the journalist faced criticism from his Western colleagues just for sitting down with the Russian leader.
The interview sparked huge interest around the world, and has received more than 180 million views on X and 12 million on YouTube.