Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s viral interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin led to him meeting with a pair of exiled Americans within the nation.
Semafor reported that Carlson met with both Edward Snowden, who leaked a trove of National Security Agency documents to the public, and Tara Reade, who accused President Biden of sexual assault.
Snowden was initially granted asylum in Russia in 2013, after he leaked classified documents to the press from the NSA, which revealed that the agency was paying U.S. private tech companies for clandestine access to their communications networks. Snowden was featured heavily in Russian media before seeking more privacy in his family life
In 2020, Snowden was granted permanent resident status in the nation, also seeking dual citizenship with America, stating in a tweet that “after years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son.”
While Carlson reportedly met with Snowden for hours, the meeting was not filmed. However, Carlson’s meeting with Reade, a former Senate aide who later accused Biden of sexual assault, was reportedly recorded.
Reade moved to Russia after sharing her increasingly supportive views of Russian policies. Carlson had questioned the timing of her claims in 2020.
The interview was released on Thursday evening, leading to significant pushback from mainstream journalists and others.
“Tucker Carlson is far from being the first Western journalist to have aligned himself with the enemy. There’s a long tradition of the likes of Hitler and Stalin finding pliable Brits and Americans to do their propaganda for them,” Jamie Dettmer wrote for Politico.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an exiled Russian businessman and opposition leader, who now lives in London after being jailed in 2003, following a fallout with Putin, claimed on X that Carlson is part of the Kremlin’s effort to get approval from the West.
“It needs Western approval. This is why, for example, Russian propagandists have taken to writing pro-Putin comments under articles on Western news sites under assumed European and American names, then reprinting them as ‘Western opinions,’” he wrote. “This is where Tucker Carlson comes in. He’s been complimentary of Putin for years, even as the dictator became persona non grata among the broader Western public. So when he visited Moscow, he got the superstar treatment.”
“His visit has received more media coverage than any visiting world leader or celebrity in years. His every move was portrayed as a matter of national importance – all because he satisfies the regime’s need for approval from the West,” the dissident wrote regarding Carlson’s Moscow trip.
During the interview, Putin opened with a lengthy rant regarding Russian and Ukrainian history, going on to claim that the smaller nation, which was once part of the Soviet Union, is not a real country.
“After World War II, Ukraine received in addition to the lands that had belonged to Poland before the war, both of the lands that had previously belonged to Hungary and Romania – so Romania and Hungary had some of their lands taken away and given to the Soviet Ukraine, and they still remain part of Ukraine,” he claimed. “So in this sense, we have every reason to affirm that Ukraine is an artificial state that was shaped at Stalin’s will.”
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