Interview with Tucker Carlson: Putin accuses the CIA of blowing up Nord Stream

Tucker Carlson interviewed the Russian president for over two hours. In the conversation, Vladimir Putin is allowed to present crude theses about the war in Ukraine without contradiction. Only at one point is Carlson confrontational.

Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin had already been talking to each other for over 70 minutes when the moderator asked the Russian president about Germany and the attack on the Nord Stream Baltic Sea pipeline. “The Germans know that their NATO partners did it,” claims the former “Fox News” presenter. “Why are the Germans silent, why don’t they say anything?”

The Russian president laughs and says: “That confuses me too.” Germany’s leadership is controlled by the interests of the collective West and not by its own national interests, explains Putin. Carlson has often claimed that the United States blew up the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipes. So the moderator’s views are not new. The fact that he discussed his theses with the Russian President is certainly true.

Putin uses the opportunity to blame the CIA for the attack. The American foreign intelligence service would have had an interest in this and the skills to do so. This is what Putin and Carlson have in common: They put forward wild theories and provide no evidence.

The two men spoke for over two hours in the Kremlin on Tuesday of this week. Two days later, Carlson published the conversation in full length and, according to his own statements, uncut, on his homepage and on Elon Musk’s social media platform that is wrong. Putin has not accepted requests for talks from Western media since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine began almost two years ago. He now made an exception for Carlson and thus generated great international interest in the interview.

The conversation begins with Putin’s long remarks on the history of Russia and Ukraine. In it he tries to argue why, from his point of view, Russians and Ukrainians are one people. The Russian president has been putting forward these ideas for years; they are the intellectual basis for the attack on Ukraine.

Putin describes the “Maidan Revolution” in Ukraine in 2014 as a “coup” that forced him to act. “Ukraine posed a threat to Crimea, which we had to protect.” Since then it has been about the denazification of Ukraine. Carlson does not intervene at this point. He could have pointed out that who governs it was and is a question of Ukraine’s internal affairs. He could have said that a coup usually means the military deposing elected politicians. He could have said that this never happened in Ukraine. Rather, peaceful protests led to a revolution, which meant that the government at the time could no longer hold its own.

Putin praises his personal relationship with Donald Trump

Carlson doesn’t say any of that. Instead, he makes himself the Russian president’s cue. “Have you ever called the US president and said: If you continue to militarize Ukraine with NATO troops, we will act?” In 2014, the US sent soldiers to Ukraine as trainers to train local forces. Carlson’s claim that NATO had established a military presence in Ukraine at that time is false.

Before the interview, there was speculation about whether Putin would say things that could upset the American election campaign. In the conversation, Tucker Carlson asks whether quicker peace would be possible with another president in the White House. Putin initially answers evasively that it is primarily about the personality of a US president. Finally, he reports on George W. Bush, with whom he had a “very good relationship.” “I also had a similar relationship with Trump,” says Putin. It is a short but demonstrative praise of the Russian President.

Carlson also wants to know in the conversation whether Putin is ready to attack Poland. The Russian president denies this, saying his country has no interest in Poland, Latvia or others. “Only in one case” could he imagine a military conflict – “if Poland attacks Russia.” Putin then claims that mercenaries from Poland, the USA and Georgia are already fighting in Ukraine. “If someone sends regular troops, it will bring humanity to the brink of global conflict. That’s obvious.” In fact, there have been occasional reports of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine, including from Poland. There was never any official confirmation of this.

At the end of the interview, Carlson addresses the fate of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. Gershkovich was arrested in March 2023 on espionage charges. Putin repeats the accusation. Carlson counters, even repeatedly, that Gershkovich is not a spy. It is the only passage in the entire interview in which the moderator clearly contradicts the Russian president. Putin finally holds out the prospect of negotiations for his release – and Tucker Carlson appeals: “I hope you let him go.”