Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson is set to release a controversial interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Carlson announced the sit-down interview, which has already been recorded, would be broadcast at 6pm ET (11pm GMT) on his website.

Carlson travelled to Moscow for Putin’s first interview with a Western media figure since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in 2022.

Carlson, who has heaped praise on Putin for years, claimed not a “single Western journalist” had bothered to interview the Russian president since the conflict began nearly two years ago. The Kremlin slapped down the claim and said Mr Carlson “was not correct” as Mr Putin received “numerous requests” for interviews which are denied because but Western media are too one-sided – despite a serve crackdown on dissent from Putin, particularly on critcism of the war – preventing full reporting.

Carlson’s access to Mr Putin is in stark contrast with rthe two US citizens – Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and Radio Free Europe’s Alsu Kurmasheva – are imprisoned on charges related to their reporting work.

Key Points

  • Tucker goes to Russia: Everything we know about the ex-Fox host’s unlikely interview with Vladimir Putin

  • Tucker Carlson is back in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. But where has he been?

  • Could Tucker face consequences back in the US over this interview?

Peddling Trump’s election lies

15:00 , Joe Middelton

Tucker Carlson previously conducted an unhinged attack on Mulsim congressman Illhan Omar, saying that she was “living proof that immigration has made the US more dangerous”.

Perhaps his most egregious offence however was that Mr Carlson, alongside fellow hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, peddled former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election being rigged.

Privately Mr Carlson mocked Mr Trump’s allies, said he hated him and described him as a “demonic force”.

This information was revealed in pre-court filings after Fox News was sued by Dominion Voting Systems, for its coverage of the 2020 presidential election.

Fox was forced into a humilitating settlement of $787.5m, and not long afterwards the network’s superstar presenter was relieved of his job.

Why is he so controversial?

14:30 , Joe Middleton

Mr Carlson’s started as a contributor at Fox News in 2009 and rapidly ascended through the organisation to become the most famous voice of Conservative media in the United States.

His show attracted a loyal following, averaging almost 3.5 million viewers a night in 2022, but was dogged by allegations of racism, promoting anti-immigrant sentiment and peddling conspiracy theories.

Mr Carlson’s rhetorical style is akin to US radio shock jocks and his embrace of sacred Republican political ideals, such as his anti-abortion position and enthusiastic backingof gun rights, led to fevered speculation he could one day become a presidential candidate.

His show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, was involved in many scandals, on and off-screen controversies and cruel behaviour.

In 2018 a number of large sponsors, such as Land Rover and Samsung, boycotted the show after Mr Carlson said that immigrants make the US “poorer, dirtier, and more divided.”

He described Black Live Matter protesters as “criminal mobs”, described white supremacy as a “hoax” and claimed that the metric system was a conspiracy.

A short bio of Tucker Carlson

14:15 , Joe Middleton

Tucker Carlson was born on May 16, 1969 and was the eldest son of Lisa McNear and Dick Carlson. He grew up in San Francisco, California, before later moving to San Diego after his parents divorced.

His father remarried to Patricia Caroline Swanson, an heiress to Swanson Enterprises, a large US firm that developed canned foods and ready meals.

Mr Carlson attended St. George’s School, a boarding school in Middletown, Rhode Island, before spending four years at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

However, he did not graduate and after encouragement from his father, decided to pursue a career in journalism.

Mr Carlson worked for a number of prominent news organisations such as CNN, PBS and MSNBC, before securing a role with Fox News, where he would become TV host of the most popular, and controversial show, in the US.

His most well-known stint prior to starting at Fox News was hosting political chat show Crossfire. In a later viral clip he was called a “d**k” by comedian Jon Stewart after they clashed in 2004 on the show.

He is married to Susan Thomson Carlson, who he met while at boarding school, and they have four children together.

Who is Tucker Carlson and why is he so controversial?

13:55 , Joe Middleton

Former Fox News cable show host Tucker Carlson is set to release a controversial interview with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Thursday evening.

Mr Carlson is the first western journalist to secure an interview with Mr Putin since the Russian president’s forces invaded Ukraine almost two years ago.

Mr Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Mr Carlson had been chosen for the interview because “he has a position which differs” from other western media.

The interview, Mr Carlson said in his video, will be distributed for free on his website and on X, formerly Twitter.

Posting on X on Tuesday, with the Kremlin in the background, he said: “Here’s why we’re doing it. First, because it’s our job. We’re in journalism. Our duty is to inform people, two years into a war that’s reshaping the entire world.

“Most Americans are not informed. They have no real idea what’s happening in this region, here in Russia or 600 miles away in Ukraine, but they should know. They’re paying for much of it in ways they might not fully yet perceive.”

Who is Tucker Carlson and why is he so controversial?

VIDEO: Hillary Clinton dubs Tucker Carlson a ‘useful idiot’ ahead of his Putin interview

13:26 , Gustaf Kilander

What has Tucker been doing since Fox News exit?

12:49 , Joe Middleton

My colleague Richard Hall has written an thorough piece on what Tucker Carlson has been doing since his exit from Fox News.

Click below to read:

Tucker Carlson is back in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Did he ever leave?

Kremlin corrects Tucker Carlson’s false claim that no Western journalists tried to interview Putin

12:17 , Joe Middleton

The Kremlin has slapped down a claim by far-right influencer Tucker Carlson that no Western journalists have tried to interview Russian president Vladimir Putin about his invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Carlson accused the Western media of engaging in “fawning pep sessions” with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, whom he has previously called a “dictator” and likened to a rat, while confidently asserting that “not a single Western journalist has bothered to interview the president of the other country involved in this conflict: Vladimir Putin”.

The former Fox News commentator, who has heaped effusive praise on Mr Putin for years, made the false claim in a video posted on Tuesday to promote his interview with the Russian leader, which has reportedly already been filmed but not yet posted online.

Richard Hall and Gustaf Kilander reports:

Kremlin corrects Tucker Carlson claim that no Western media tried to interview Putin

Tucker Carlson reveals why he is interviewing Putin in Russia

11:30 , Joe Middleton

Tucker Carlson has revealed why he is interviewing Vladimir Putin in Russia.

Carlson has openly criticised the Ukrainian cause and pushed Kremlin talking points regarding Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine on X, formerly Twitter.

Posting a video on X on Tuesday (6 February), he said: “There are risks to conducting an interview like this, obviously.

“Here’s why we’re doing it. First, because it’s our job. We’re in journalism. Our duty is to inform people, two years into a war that’s reshaping the entire world.

“Most Americans are not informed. They have no real idea what’s happening in this region, here in Russia or 600 miles away in Ukraine, but they should know. They’re paying for much of it in ways they might not fully yet perceive.”

Jon Stewart attacks Tucker Carlson in resurfaced 2004 Crossfire clip

10:55 , Joe Middleton

What was the last interview Putin did with a western outlet?

10:40 , Joe Middleton

The last interview that Vladimir Putin did with a western outlet was with CNBC in October 2021.

During the sit-down chat at the Russian Energy Week International Forum Mr Putin spoke about a wide range of topics including the Middle East, Cryptocurrency, China and a brief chat about Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.

After being questioned about Mr Navalny’s quality of life while in prison, the Russian president said: “Not the best you’re right but he’s not alone.

“There are other people who also violated Russian legislations, and we are not going to create any exclusive conditions for those who use the political activity as a cover up for their activities. So I think that I’ve answered your question.”

Russian propagandists claim Tucker Carlson’s Putin interview will ‘blow up’ US election

10:17 , Joe Middleton

A Russian propagandist working for Kremlin-controlled state TV has claimed that Tucker Carlson’s interview with President Vladimir Putin is set to “blow up” the upcoming US election.

The Kremlin confirmed on Wednesday that the interview took place on Tuesday, and it is believed to be set for broadcast on Thursday.

Russian broadcasters have long argued that the former Fox News host be allowed a sit-down with Mr Putin, with the head of the Russian broadcaster RT, Margarita Simonyan, asking the Kremlin to set up a meeting after months of clips of Carlson’s former Fox News programme being used on Russian TV to push Kremlin talking points via the American broadcaster.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Putin propagandists claim Tucker Carlson interview will ‘blow up’ US election

Tucker Carlson is back in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. But where has he been?

09:55 , Joe Middleton

Tucker Carlson was fired from Fox News at the height of his powers. He was the face of the most-watched cable news show in the country, with an audience that included presidents, former presidents, hate-watching liberals, rank-and-file conservatives and every Republican lawmaker under the sun. He was even considered a potential presidential candidate.

Ten months on from his ignominious departure, none of those things are still true. Carlson is still producing the kind of content that led the New York Times to suggest that his Fox show “may be the most racist show in the history of cable news” — albeit for a different kind of audience on Elon Musk’s ‘X’ — but he does not command the same authority or attention.

That is, perhaps, until now. The far-right agitator announced on Tuesday that he would interview Russian president Vladimir Putin about the war in Ukraine, following years of heaping effusive praise on one of the world’s leading jailors of journalists.

Read more of my colleague Richard Hall’s profile of Mr Tucker here:

Tucker Carlson is back in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Did he ever leave?

Could Tucker face consequences back in the US over this?

09:35 , Joe Middleton

Ian Corzine, a lawyer and political commentator, has posted a video posing the question on if it’s legal for Mr Carlson to be interviewing the Russian president.

He concludes it is legal but speculates Mr Tucker’s Moscow jaunt could bring him some problems further down the line due to the US’s Espionage Act.

“The words of the law are super broad and could be construed to prohibit any sharing of information with another country with intent to harm the United States”, he said.

He added: “Is it possible that Tucker shared his questions with Putin’s people before the interview?”.

Mr Corzine said that circumstances like this are covered by the Espionage Act. See the video below:

Why is Tucker Carlson doing this?

09:16 , Joe Middleton

Standing on top a hotel overlooking the Kremlin, Mr Carlson has sought to defend his controversial interview with the Russian president.

In a video posted to Twitter, Mr Carlson said he was doing the chat with Mr Putin because he said Americans have very little idea of what is happening in the Russia and Ukraine war.

He said the conflict has “utterly reshaped the global military and trade alliances” and the “sanctions as well” have upended the global economy.

See Mr Tucker’s defence of his interview with Mr Putin here:

Tucker goes to Russia: Everything we know about the ex-Fox host’s unlikely interview with Vladimir Putin

09:00 , Alexander Butler

Everything we know about Tucker Carlson’s unlikely interview with Vladimir Putin

What can expect from Tucker Carlson interviewing Vladimir Putin?

08:51 , Joe Middleton

John Herbst, a senior director at the Eurasia Centre, has published a lengthy Twitter thread on how viewers can tell if the sit-down chat is “real journalism” or “a vehicle for Putin to gaslight an American audience.”

As part of the thread, Mr Herbst points to a number of questions that Mr Tucker could ask the Russian president.

Such as: “Russia’s arrest of @WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich has been criticized by journalists globally as another blow against press freedom. Why don’t you release him?”

Tucker Carlson reveals he’s interviewing Putin in Moscow after years of anti-Ukraine vitriol

08:45 , Alexander Butler

Tucker Carlson interviews Putin in Moscow after years of anti-Ukraine vitriol

Russian propagandists claim Tucker Carlson’s Putin interview will ‘blow up’ US election

08:30 , Alexander Butler

Putin propagandists claim Tucker Carlson interview will ‘blow up’ US election

Kremlin corrects Tucker Carlson’s false claim that no Western journalists tried to interview Putin

08:15 , Alexander Butler

Kremlin corrects Tucker Carlson claim that no Western media tried to interview Putin

Tucker Carlson is back in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. But where has he been?

08:00 , Alexander Butler

Tucker Carlson is back in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Did he ever leave?

Welcome to The Independent’s live blog

07:52 , Alexander Butler

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live blog. We will be bringing you live coverage and reaction to Tucker Carlson’s controversial interview with Vladimir Putin throughout the day.

Mr Carlson announced the sit-down interview, which has already been recorded, would be broadcast at 6pm Eastern time (11pm GMT) on his website.

The former Fox News host travelled to Moscow for Putin’s first interview with a Western media figure since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Tucker Carlson’s controversial interview with Vladimir Putin will be broadcast today (Twitter/X)Tucker Carlson’s controversial interview with Vladimir Putin will be broadcast today (Twitter/X)

Tucker Carlson’s controversial interview with Vladimir Putin will be broadcast today (Twitter/X)

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