Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, took aim at former Fox News host Tucker Carlson for becoming the first American journalist to land an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Carlson took to Instagram on Wednesday to announce that the interview, which was pre-recorded in Moscow, Russia, would air on his website at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the day prior, he explained that while there were “risks” to conducting the interview, journalists have a “duty to inform people,” and he believes that the American people are not up to speed about the conflict between Russian and Ukraine.
“Two years into a war that’s reshaping the entire world, most Americans are not informed,” he stated.
Why I'm interviewing Vladimir Putin. pic.twitter.com/hqvXUZqvHX
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) February 6, 2024
“They have no real idea what’s happening in this region. But they should know, they’re paying for much of it in ways they might not fully perceive.”
Carlson condemned the English-speaking media for being corrupt and deceitful to their audiences.
He also accused the Biden administration illicitly monitored him to tank an interview with Putin he had on the books three years prior, then claimed they tried the same tactics recently, but he self-funded his trip.
Carlson assured viewers that his show didn’t go to Moscow “because we love Vladimir Putin,” but “because we love the United States and want it to remain prosperous and free.”
He also stated that Elon Musk guaranteed that his interview with Putin would not be censored or blocked on the platform under Musk’s leadership.
On the contrary, Carlson insinuated that Western governments would attempt censorship on “less principled platforms,” because that’s their standard practice.
"[Tucker Carlson] is what's called a 'useful idiot'… he's like a puppy dog."
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 7, 2024
On Wednesday, Clinton was asked by MSNBC host Alex Wagner what Carlson landing the first interview with Putin tells her about the journalist, the foreign president, and right-wing media.
“Well, it shows me what I think we’ve all known: He is what’s called a ‘useful idiot,’” Clinton stated.
“I mean, if you actually read translations of what’s being said on Russian media, they make fun of him. He’s like a puppy dog.”
She also asserted that despite his immense success since going independent, the former Fox News star might have traveled to the country to look for a new job.
“After having been fired from so many outlets in the United States, I would not be surprised if he emerges with a contract with a Russian outlet because he is a useful idiot,” Clinton spat.
“He says things that are not true. He parrots Valdimir Putin’s pack of lies about Ukraine, so I don’t see why Putin wouldn’t give him an interview.”
Carlson’s employment with Fox News concluded in April, shortly after the network resolved a defamation lawsuit through a settlement believed to be close to $800 million.
The suit pertained to false claims about the ballot-counting company Dominion Voting Systems purportedly rigging the 2020 presidential election against Trump.
Following his time on Fox, Carlson shifted to broadcasting on X, formerly known as Twitter, where he has racked up tens of millions of views.
The Fox News broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” a nightly average of 3.391 million viewers in his final month with the network.
In contrast, the first episode of “Tucker on Twitter,” was watched by more than 26 million viewers.
The numbers held steady during his second and third episodes on the platform, with 13.2 million and 18.7 million respectively.
The interview with Putin, however, stands as his most considerable feat post-Fox News departure, and is expected to draw immense interest.
Meanwhile, CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour slammed Carlson’s announcement with a scathing reply.
“Does Tucker really think we journalists haven’t been trying to interview President Putin every day since his full scale invasion of Ukraine?” She replied to his post.
“It’s absurd — we’ll continue to ask for an interview, just as we have for years now.”
In contrast, rapper Meek Mill is intrigued by Thursday’s interview. “Let me see what’s going on before we get caught in a war we don’t have nothing to do with,” he responded to Carlson’s tweet.