Vladimir Putin has claimed that jailed American journalist Evan Gershkovich is a spy who was caught “red-handed” with classified information.
Gershkovich was arrested on March 29 of last year and charged with espionage, the first American journalist to be arrested for alleged espionage since the Cold War.
The Russian president, in a controversial two-hour interview with Tucker Carlson published Thursday night, said he was open to a deal to send him home.
Putin insisted Gershkovich was a spy even though Carlson said he was “obviously not a spy, he’s a kid… he’s not a super spy and everyone knows it.”
‘You know, you can give different interpretations to what constitutes a spy. But there are certain things provided for by law,” Putin said.
‘If a person obtains secret information and does so in a conspiratorial manner, it is considered espionage.
And that’s exactly what he was doing. She was receiving classified and confidential information, and she did it covertly.
Putin left open the possibility that Gershkovich received the material “inadvertently,” but that his actions definitely “qualified” as espionage.
“The fact has been proven since he was caught red-handed when he received this information,” he stated.
‘If it had been some far-fetched excuse, some fabrication, something unproven, then it would have been a different story.
But he was caught red-handed while secretly obtaining confidential information. So what is it?’