News of Carlson’s visit first broke at the weekend after the Mash Telegram channel, rumored to have links to Russian law enforcement, reported he’d been spotted in Moscow at the Bolshoi Theater after having flown in several days earlier.
In a video published by the Russian outlet Izvestia a day later, Carlson said he had come to Russia to “talk to people, look around, and see how it’s doing … and it’s doing very well.”
Responding to a question as to whether he was there to interview Putin, Carlson responded: “We’ll see.”
Elon Musk, the owner of X (formerly Twitter), the platform on which the video will be published, has promised not to suppress or block the interview once it’s posted, Carlson said. He then aimed another broadside at the West.
“Western governments, by contrast, will certainly do their best to censor this video and other less principled platforms because that’s what they do,” Carlson said.
The last time Putin sat down with an American journalist was in June 2021 with NBC’s Keir Simmons. In October 2021 Putin briefly spoke to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the Russian Energy Week event in Moscow. Before that the Russian president also talked to U.S. TV journalist Megyn Kelly, then with NBC, before his last election win in 2018.