Tucker Carlson accuses White House of spying on him ahead of his interview with Vladimir Putin
Wednesday 7 February 2024
Tucker Carlson has accused the White House of spying on him ahead of his historic interview with Vladimir Putin.
Speaking from Moscow in a video posted on X, the former Fox News host believes his text messages were read in a repeat of a similar incident three years ago.
"Almost three years ago, the Biden administration illegally spied on our text messages and then leaked the contents to their servants in the news media," he said.
"They did this to stop a Putin interview we were planning. Last month, we're pretty certain they did exactly the same thing once again. But this time we came to Moscow anyway."
This interview will be the Russian President's first one-on-one with a Western journalist since he launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Mr Carlson said it was important to speak directly to the Russian President because Americans were not being told the truth about the Ukraine conflict.
"We are not here because we love Vladimir Putin but because we love the United States," he said.
"Americans have a right to know all they can about a war they're implicated in. Freedom of speech is our birth right. We were born with the right to say what we believe.
"That right cannot be taken away no matter who is in the White House."
TalkTV's Julia Hartley Brewer said: "We should hear from people no matter who they are, but we need to see the interview first, and we need to know the conditions under which it was granted.
"Vladimir Putin arranges the murder of journalists in Britain and abroad who criticise him. My guess is that other news organisations have not interviewed Putin because they did not agree to his terms."
The FT's Moscow bureau chief, Max Seddon, said Mr Carlson was wrong to complain that not enough American journalists were reporting on the Russian side of the invasion, when two American journalists "are in jail right now for doing just that".
The Wall Street Journal's Evan Gershkovich and Alsu Kurmasheva of Radio Free Europe have both been held in pre-trial detention since last year.