Tucker Carlson has responded to challenges for not questioning Vladimir Putin enough in his controversial interview by saying that “leadership requires killing people.”
The former Fox News host interviewed the Russian president on February 6.
But the interview has been criticized as “soft”, with even Vladimir Putin saying he was disappointed by Carlson’s questions.
Just days before the death of Russian opposition leader Aleksey Navalny was announced, Carlson defended his interview.
Appearing at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Monday, February 12, he was interviewed by Egyptian journalist Emad El Din Adeeb.
The former Fox News host interviewed the Russian president on February 6
Egyptian journalist Emad El Din Adeeb (left) interviews Mr. Carlson at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Monday, February 12.
Mr Adeeb said: “You should challenge the roles of an interview and you are a master in your business.”
‘It’s not my place to lecture you about that, but you should challenge some ideas.
“For example, he did not talk about freedom of expression in Russia, he did not talk about Alexei Navalny, about murders, about restrictions on the opposition in the next elections.”
Mr Carlson responded: ‘I didn’t talk about the things that every other American media talks about.
‘Because they are covered and because I have spent my life talking to people who run countries in various countries and I have come to the following conclusion: that every leader kills people, including my leader.
‘Every leader kills people, some kill more than others.
‘Leadership requires killing people, I’m sorry, that’s why I wouldn’t want to be a leader.
‘This press restriction is universal in the United States, I know because I have experienced it. Ask my ex: I’ve had many jobs.
‘And I’ve done this for 34 years and I know how it works and there is more censorship in Russia than in the United States, but there is a lot of censorship in the United States.
‘And then at a certain point, it’s like people can decide if they think, what countries they think are better, what systems they think are better. I just want to know what you think, that was the point.’
“Leadership requires killing people, I’m sorry, that’s why I wouldn’t want to be a leader,” Mr. Carlson said.
Tucker Carlson during his ‘soft’ interview with Vladimir Putin
Tucker Carlson in a Russian supermarket while fawning over the low price of “fresh foods”
In another bizarre video, Carlson praised Russia for its low grocery store prices and fresh produce.
The media firebrand wheeled a shopping cart through a Russian hypermarket as he marveled at the stock as he continued his PR tour with Putin earlier this week.
In a video posted to his social media accounts, Carlson, 54, exclaimed: ‘Look at that!’ her while she smells a loaf of bread while jovial music plays.
The former host said the revelation made him go from feeling “amused to legitimately angry” that his home country apparently charges so much more for basics like food.
The video sparked widespread ridicule from people online, as many pointed out the disparity between the average salary in Russia, which is equivalent to $9,072, or 6.5 times less than the average salary in the United States of $59,428.
During his interview with Putin, Carlson also praised Russia, calling Moscow “much prettier than any city in my country.”
‘I had no idea. It’s much cleaner, safer and more aesthetically pleasing, he said.
‘Its architecture, food and services are better than any city in the United States. And this is not ideological.”
Even Putin said he was disappointed by Carlson’s “soft” interview questions.
Carlson has since received backlash for his interview, especially in the wake of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Navalny (pictured with his wife Yulia Navalnaya) miraculously survived an alleged assassination attempt with a nerve agent in August 2020 during a flight. He was evacuated to a hospital in Germany and the use of the nerve agent Novichok was later confirmed.
But since the announcement of Russian opposition leader Navalny’s death in a Russian prison, Carlson has become more critical of Putin.
The former Fox News host told DailyMail.com that he was on a plane traveling from Dubai when Navalny’s death was announced.
“I didn’t even know what had happened until I saw the Daily Mail story,” Carlson explained.
In an exclusive statement to DailyMail.com, Carlson said: “It is horrible what happened to Navalny.
“This is all barbaric and horrible. No decent person would defend it.
Russian media announced Navalny’s death on Friday morning, citing the Siberian prison service, where he was serving a 19-year sentence for “extremism”, sparking fury around the world.
“On February 16, 2024, in correctional colony number 3, prisoner Navalny AA felt unwell after a walk and almost immediately lost consciousness,” prison officials said in a statement.
‘Emergency doctors confirmed the death of the condemned man.’.
World leaders, including the Latvian president, have placed the blame for Navalny’s death on Putin.
Carlson faced backlash following his “soft” interview with Putin, especially since Alexei Navalny’s death was announced.
Meghan McCain, former co-host of The View, said: “Don’t forget that Putin’s favorite idiotic Kremlin propagandist, Tucker Carlson, didn’t give a damn about Navalny’s life when he was asked about him a few days ago.”
Former Republican strategist Stuart Stevens said: “As Tucker Carlson makes clear, Trump supporters look at Russia and ask, ‘Why can’t America be Russia?’
‘They hate the America we love. We must defeat them.’