Tucker Carlson Says His Putin Interview Will Be Shown on Thursday

Tucker Carlson said late Wednesday that his much-anticipated interview with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia would be broadcast on Thursday night, even as a bill to send tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine remains hung up in Congress.

Mr. Carlson, the former Fox News host, made the announcement in an Instagram post, which said the interview would be broadcast on tuckercarlson.com at 6 p.m. Eastern time. It would be Mr. Putin’s first formal interview with a Western media figure since the start of his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, despite multiple requests from a variety of news outlets.

The interview was conducted on Tuesday, said a Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov.

Mr. Carlson has spent several days in Moscow, according to Russian state media, which has delivered a blow-by-blow account of his visit, raising anticipation of a potential interview. He confirmed on Tuesday night that there would be one.

“We’re here to interview the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin,” Mr. Carlson said in a video apparently shot from a high-rise building in central Moscow and posted to X, the social media platform. “We’ll be doing that soon.”

Mr. Putin’s government has drastically reduced the ability of Western journalists to cover Russia, and it has imprisoned a Wall Street Journal correspondent, Evan Gershkovich, for more than 10 months on espionage charges that he, his employer and the United States government vehemently deny. The Kremlin has referred to Western countries as having been “stupefied” by anti-Russian propaganda.

The interview comes at a critical time for the war in Ukraine, with American aid to Kyiv stalled in Congress. On Wednesday, the Senate adjourned without moving forward on an aid package for Ukraine and Israel, after Republicans blocked a compromise that would have paired the aid with stringent border security measures.

In speaking with Mr. Carlson, Mr. Putin would most likely be seeking to seize a unique opportunity: a chance to reach a potentially sympathetic audience in the United States.

Mr. Carlson, like the Republican presidential front-runner, Donald J. Trump, is skeptical of further American support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion, and has embraced Mr. Putin’s efforts to position himself as a global standard-bearer for “traditional values,” like opposing L.G.B.T. rights.

Mr. Putin’s calculus, in good part, appears tied to the war in Ukraine. The interview could inflame political divisions over Ukraine inside the United States, especially if Mr. Putin signals that he is open to a negotiated end to the war.

In promoting the interview, Mr. Carlson has falsely asserted that he was alone among Western media figures in trying to interview Mr. Putin. Various Western news organizations, including TV networks as well as The New York Times, have asked for interviews with him.

“Does Tucker really think we journalists haven’t been trying to interview President Putin every day since his full scale invasion of Ukraine?” Christiane Amanpour, the CNN and PBS journalist, wrote on X, adding that Mr. Carlson’s claim was “absurd.”

Mr. Peskov addressed that point on Wednesday, saying: “Mr. Carlson is not correct, but he couldn’t have known that. We receive a lot of requests for interviews with the president.”

Mr. Peskov said that Western newspapers and television networks “cannot boast of attempts to even look impartial in terms of covering what is happening” and that “there is no desire to communicate with such media.” Mr. Carlson, he said, takes a position that “contrasts the position of the traditional Anglo-Saxon media.”

An interview at the Kremlin could be mutually beneficial for Mr. Carlson and Mr. Putin. Mr. Carlson lost the most prominent platform in conservative media when he was pushed from Fox’s lineup last year, while Mr. Putin lost the most prominent promoter of his anti-Ukraine talking points in the United States.

Mr. Carlson’s arrival in Moscow, and speculation that he was there to interview Mr. Putin, drew a mix of condemnation and praise from prominent X users.

“He is a traitor,” former Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican of Illinois, wrote in a message, referring to Mr. Carlson. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Trump-aligned Republican congresswoman from Georgia, lauded the news, saying: “Democrats and their propagandists are spasming at the prospect of Tucker Carlson interviewing Putin.”

Mr. Carlson said in his Tuesday video that the interview would be posted on X and that the social network’s owner, the billionaire Elon Musk, had promised “not to suppress or block this interview.”

That may not be the case, however, for the Russian government, which has restricted access to the platform, formerly known as Twitter, since March 2022, claiming it was hosting false information about the war in Ukraine.

While Mr. Carlson continues to provide Kremlin media with pro-Putin commentary for consumption in Russia, he has become a diminished figure in the United States since leaving Fox News, where he averaged an audience of more than 3 million a night.

Western officials and Russians close to the Kremlin have said in recent months that with Russia retaking the initiative on the battlefield and further American aid for Ukraine stalled in Congress, Mr. Putin appears to see an opening for negotiations that could play into his hands. But many supporters of Ukraine say that seeking a deal with Mr. Putin now would amount to a capitulation, because it would almost certainly require Ukraine to relinquish the roughly one-fifth of Ukraine that Russia now controls.

In breathless coverage of Mr. Carlson’s movements around Moscow, Russia’s pro-Kremlin media appeared to be working to build up chatter about a possible Putin interview. On television and online, Russian state media has treated Mr. Carlson as a visiting celebrity, offering a stream of photos and videos of his various stops — arriving at the airport, dining at a restaurant and taking in the “Spartacus” ballet at the Bolshoi Theater.

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