Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been spotted in Moscow, sparking speculation that he may be gearing up for an interview with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin. This potential interview would mark the first time an American media figure has formally interviewed the Russian leader since the invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago. Carlson’s visit to Moscow has been widely covered by Russian state media, showcasing his various stops around the city and treating him as a visiting celebrity.
While there has been no official confirmation of an interview with President Putin, Carlson’s defense of Putin and attacks on his Western critics have placed him at the forefront of a pro-Putin faction within the American conservative movement. This trip comes after Carlson’s show on Fox News was abruptly canceled last spring following a series of controversies. Since then, he has been hosting his own show on the social network X, where he has continued to promote his views on Putin and Russian politics.
The news of Carlson’s arrival in Moscow has elicited both praise and criticism. His supporters hope for an interview that they believe would offer a different perspective on US-Russia relations, while his critics view it as an act of appeasement toward an autocrat waging an illegal war and suppressing dissent at home. This polarization reflects the broader debate over how the US and the West should engage with Russia and its leader.
The potential interview would come at a time when Russia has intensified its curtailment of free speech, particularly during the ongoing conflict with Ukraine. Journalists in the country face the threat of imprisonment for reporting on the situation, and even foreign reporters have been targeted, such as Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich, who has been held in jail for nearly a year on espionage charges that have been strongly denied by both him and his news outlet.
In the midst of these developments, Carlson’s visit and the possibility of an interview with Putin highlight the complex dynamics at play in US-Russian relations and the broader debate over press freedom and journalistic integrity.