OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:59 PM – Thursday, February 8, 2024
In his much-awaited interview with Tucker Carlson, Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned President Joe Biden, spoke about past Democrat presidents and the CIA, while praising George W. Bush and gushing over the “very smart” Elon Musk.
Shortly before six o’clock on Thursday evening, the two-hour interview was made available on the Tucker Carlson Network, Carlson’s official website, as well as on X (Twitter).
“Are we having a talk show or a serious interview?” Putin said, in response to a query on the conflict in Ukraine, speaking via a translator.
Before justifying his military’s actions, he gave Carlson the “historical background” of the Ukraine-Russia war.
Some of Putin’s claims included:
- Bill Clinton offered Russia a place in NATO, but was overruled by his staff
- Russia has superior “supersonic missiles” to every other nation
- Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was a “spy”
- The CIA blew up the Nord Stream Pipeline
The Russian forces “created hypersonic systems with intercontinental range, and we continue to develop them,” according to Putin.
“We are now ahead of everyone—the United States and the other countries—in terms of the development of hypersonic strike systems. And we are improving them every day,” the Russian president continued.
When the topic of Putin’s long-standing relationship with the U.S. came up, he scoffed at the idea that a different president would alter the course of the conflict but commended his previous cordiality with former President Donald Trump and former President George W. Bush.
“You just asked me if another leader comes and changes something? It is not about the leader,” Putin said.
Putin also alleged that a peace agreement pertaining to the conflict in Ukraine had previously been reached, however, he accused the “Western side” of seeking to prolong the conflict.
“We’re willing to negotiate,” he said. “It is the western side, and Ukraine is obviously a satellite state of the US. It is evident. I do not want you to take it as if I am looking for a strong word or an insult. But we both understand what is happening.”
The two-hour discussion was dominated by Putin, who started with a plodding history of Russian land. Carlson briefly introduced the discussion, stating that he originally thought the Russian president was employing a “filibustering technique” to avoid answering the topic of why the conflict was started.
In response to a question concerning the turning point that precipitated his decision to strike, Putin stated, “First, it was the coup in Ukraine” (alluding to the overthrow of Zelenskyy’s predecessor, Viktor Yanukovych, in 2014).
“And what triggered the current events? Firstly, the current Ukrainian leadership would not implement the Minsk Agreements,” Putin continued.
Signed in 2014, the Minsk Agreements were a set of agreements aimed at bringing an end to the conflict in the Donbas region between separatist groups in Russia and Ukraine.
“It is not about the personality of a particular person. I had a very good relationship with, say, Bush. I know that in the United States, he was portrayed as some kind of a country boy who does not understand much. I assure you that this is not the case.”
He went on to say that he was also fonder of former President Donald Trump, as opposed to Biden. “It is not about the personality of the leader. It is about the elite’s mindset, leader deal.”
“If the idea of domination at any cost, based also on forceful actions dominates the American society, nothing will change. It will only get worse.”
Due to Carlson’s interview with the controversial Russian leader, Western media reacted negatively to his handling of the free press in his country, which included the continued incarceration of Wall Street Journal writer Evan Gershowitz.
Putin asserted that Gershowitz was “a spy,” despite the U.S. maintaining that the reporter was wrongfully jailed and not a spy.
“You know, you can give a different interpretations to what constitutes a spy. But there are certain things provided by law. If a person gets secret information and does that in conspiratorial manner, then this is qualified as espionage,” Putin asserted.
Meanwhile, White House Communications Coordinator John Kirby warned Americans not to believe “anything” in the Tucker Carlson-Putin interview, prior to its release.
“Anybody that watches that interview you need to make sure to remember that you are listening to Vladimir Putin,” Kirby said. “You shouldn’t take at face value anything he has to say.”
Many social media users on X (Twitter) are supporting Carlson’s decision to give Putin a voice, despite Democrats objecting to the idea and Hillary Clinton even calling Carlson a “useful idiot.”
Additionally, a number of politicians and public figures in the U.S. similarly voiced their approval and excitement to tune in and watch the discussion.
Independent 2024 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.) commented on the news and said that Carlson has every right to address the global leader and notify the public of his position.
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