By Claudia Aoraha, Senior Reporter For Dailymail.Com
21:41 11 Feb 2024, updated 22:02 11 Feb 2024
- The veteran journalist called Carlson ‘an eager puppy’ during his two-hour interview with the Russian president in Moscow this week
- Wallace ripped into his former Fox News anchor over the interview
There has been no love loss between Wallace and Carlson in recent years – with Tucker calling his former co-worker a ‘bitchy little man’ in the past.’
‘Putin droned on for two hours and seven minutes, while Tucker sat there like an eager puppy. Occasionally, but rarely, he got in a question.
‘But more telling than what Tucker asked, is what he didn’t ask. Nothing about why Putin invaded a sovereign country. Nothing about targeting civilians.
‘Nothing about Russian war crimes.
‘A reporter can ask Putin a tough question if he wants a real interview.’
This was clearly in reference to Wallace’s own gig interviewing Putin – which he did for Fox News in 2018. He showed a clip of that conversation briefly before cutting back to his monologue.
In the interview from 2018, Wallace asked Putin: ‘Why is it that so many of the people that oppose Vladimir Putin end up dead or close to it?
Speaking to his audience, Wallace continued: ‘During the Cold War, gullible Westerners who spread Soviet propaganda were dismissed as “useful idiots.” But calling Tucker that is unfair, to useful idiots.
‘No, he’s made a cynical decision to chase MAGA’s affection for dictators and what better way to cash in than Putin’s Kremlin.’
It was Putin’s first interview with a Western media figure since his full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby tried to minimize the impact of Carlson’s interview ahead of its release: ‘Remember, you’re listening to Vladimir Putin. And you shouldn’t take at face value anything he has to say.’
Putin has heavily limited his contact with international media since he launched the war in Ukraine in February 2022.
Russian authorities have cracked down on independent media, forcing some Russian outlets to close, blocking others and ordering a number of foreign reporters to leave the country.
Two journalists working for U.S. news organizations — The Wall Street Journal’s Gershkovich and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Alsu Kurmasheva — are in jail.
Asked by Carlson whether Russia would release Gershkovich, Putin said Moscow is open to talks but repeated that the reporter was charged with espionage, an accusation Gershkovich has denied.
‘He was caught red-handed when he was secretly getting classified information,’ Putin said of Gershkovich, adding that he doesn’t exclude that the reporter could return home.
‘There is no taboo on settling this issue,’ Putin said. ‘We are ready to solve it but there are certain conditions that are being discussed between special services. I believe an agreement can be reached.’
Meanwhile, Putin mocked former Fox News’ host Tucker Carlson’s failure to get into the CIA after college during their controversial interview that was broadcast Thursday night.
The issue arose when Putin blamed, without any pushback from Carlson, that the CIA was responsible for the 2014 Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine.
The movement began after the then-Russia friendly government of the country was peacefully overthrown by mass protests following the rejection of a cooperation deal with the European Union.
When Carlson asked who backed the overthrow, Putin replied: ‘With the backing of CIA, of course, the organization you wanted to join back in the day, as I understand. We should thank God they didn’t let you in. Although it is a serious organization, I understand.’
The Russian president then pointed to his own history working as an intelligence officer.