Tucker Carlson Asks Putin to Release US Journalist

Putin says no to Carlson's idea, but suggests a prisoner swap is possible
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2024 12:34 AM CST
Tucker Carlson Asks Putin to Release US Journalist
In this photo released by Sputnik news agency on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024.   (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

During his controversial sit-down with Vladimir Putin, Tucker Carlson asked the Russian president to release US journalist Evan Gershkovich, who has been detained in Russia on an espionage charge since March of last year, as a gesture of goodwill. Putin shot down that idea, but said he was open to releasing Gershkovich as part of a prisoner swap, the Wall Street Journal reports. He also suggested a way that Russia's war with Ukraine could end in a matter of weeks, Politico reports. More on that and other details from the two-hour interview, which was published on Carlson's website and the social network X Thursday night:

  • More on Gershkovich: Putin insisted he is "sincere" in his desire to return the journalist to the US, but indicated the ball is in America's court. "The more public we render these things of this nature, the more difficult it becomes to resolve them. Everything has to be done in a calm manner," he said. He wouldn't suggest a time frame for a possible deal, nor did he say who Russia would want released in exchange, though the Journal notes he made a "clear reference" to Russian operative Vadim Krasikov, jailed in Germany for assassinating a Chechen émigré, without specifically naming him.

  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine: Putin's idea for how to quickly wrap up his country's war with Ukraine involves the US getting out of the way. "If you really want to stop fighting, you need to stop supplying weapons," he said, referring to Western aid to Ukraine. "It will be over within a few weeks. That's it." He said one of the goals of the invasion, which he calls a special military operation, is "de-Nazification," saying his country is seeking to end "all kinds of neo-Nazi movements," and that the operation continues because that goal has not been met.
  • More on how the war could end: Putin said the US should "make an agreement" to turn over Ukrainian territory to Russia, the New York Times reports. "Don't you have anything better to do" than be involved in the Russia-Ukraine issue, Putin asked. "You have issues on the border, issues with migration, issues with the national debt." He also said it's "impossible by definition" for Russia to be defeated in Ukraine, Al Jazeera reports.
  • Putin's relationship with Joe Biden: The Russian president said he last spoke to his US counterpart sometime before the war with Ukraine started in 2022, but he can't remember exactly when. Putin also brought up former President Trump on his own, without Carlson mentioning him: "I had such personal relationship with Trump," he said.
(More Vladimir Putin stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.