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Putin says he thought Tucker Carlson would ask tougher questions

Sarah Gray,Kelsey Vlamis   

Putin says he thought Tucker Carlson  would ask tougher questions
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said he expected more aggressive questioning from Tucker Carlson.
  • Critics said Carlson failed to challenge Putin's claims or press him on the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Russian state TV presenter Pavel Zarubin that he expected tougher questions from Tucker Carlson, seemingly trolling the former Fox News host.

Carlson conducted a two-hour interview with Putin in Moscow last week. Russia historians previously highlighted to Business Insider how "strange" Putin's performance was.

Putin, for his part, "didn't get complete satisfaction" from the interview, according to Politico EU's translation. The Financial Times' Moscow Bureau Chief Max Seddon translated Putin as saying he did not get "much pleasure" from the interview.

Putin's chief complaint was that he expected more "sharp" questions from Carlson, a commentator who at Fox News previously defended Russia.

During the interview with Putin, Carlson sometimes interrupted and other times sat and listened as the Russian president spent more than 20 minutes delivering his version of the history of Russia and Ukraine and the current war.

"To be honest, I thought that he would behave aggressively and ask so-called sharp questions. I was not just prepared for this, I wanted it, because it would give me the opportunity to respond in the same way," Putin said, according to a translation shared by The Guardian.

Many Russia watchers, and even former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, criticized Carlson for not pushing back against claims Putin made or pressing him more on the invasion of Ukraine.

Carlson was the first Western journalist to interview Putin since the invasion of Ukraine two years ago.

"Since we are not able to have direct dialogue [with the West] today … we have to be grateful to Mr Carlson to be able to do it by his intermediary" role, Putin said, according to The Guardian.

Despite Putin claiming he wanted more aggressive questions from Carlson, many US media organizations have repeatedly requested interviews with the Russian president but have been denied, a fact even the Kremlin conceded.

An attorney for Carlson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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