The conservative journalist has yet to confirm the trip and his plans in Russia
American journalist Tucker Carlson has spent several days in Russia and even took in a ballet performance at the iconic Bolshoi Theatre, Telegram channel Mash reported on Saturday, sharing several photos of the conservative commentator.
Carlson allegedly touched down at Vnukovo airport on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul on Thursday after several hours’ delay, according to the channel. Since then he was also spotted taking in the ballet Spartacus at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
The conservative commentator has yet to confirm the trip and it remains unclear what business he had in Russia. However, rumors of his intention to interview President Vladimir Putin have been circulating since last year.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not rule out the possibility of Carlson interviewing Putin when asked about it in September, though he explained that the Russian leader would wait to sit down with any American journalist until the US population was no longer so “seriously stupefied by Russia-hating propaganda.”
Carlson himself told Swiss outlet Die Weltwoche that he had been prevented from setting up an interview with Putin by the White House. While he expressed dismay that he did not receive more support from his fellow journalists regarding his intention to sit down with the Russian president and questioned why Americans are “not allowed to hear” Putin’s voice, he declined to provide any further details regarding when the interview was supposed to have taken place or how the presidential administration of Joe Biden intervened to stop it.
The former Fox News host claimed previous attempts to secure an interview with Putin had led to aggressive surveillance by the National Security Agency, alleging he was “unmasked” by the spooks and the contents of his emails were leaked to the media in 2021 in order to “paint [him] as a disloyal American” and force him off the cable news network. The NSA denied Carlson was an intelligence target and claimed it never sought to take him off the air.
Despite dominating prime-time ratings for years, Carlson was ultimately fired from Fox News in April for reasons that have never been made public. He subsequently launched his own talk show streaming on X (formerly Twitter).
While Carlson has been repeatedly demonized by the US media establishment as a “useful idiot” for Moscow – if not a Russian agent entirely – due to his skepticism regarding Washington’s foreign policy and particularly the conflict in Ukraine, the journalist has never previously visited Russia or worked with Russian media organizations.