Carlson Presses Putin Over Jailed US Journalist

( – Former Fox host Tucker Carlson pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin on the continued detention of an American journalist in his country. Russian Security Service agents detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in March 2023 on espionage charges. Russia claimed Mr. Gershkovich had information on a “Russian defense enterprise,” and following his arrest, Dmitri Peskov, Russian president Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, said he was “caught red-handed” but did not elaborate further. Gershkovich was detained at Lefortovo Prison, used by the Soviet Union to imprison dissidents.

The White House condemned the arrest at the time, and the Wall Street Journal vehemently denied any espionage or spying on his part. Reporters Without Borders’ Jeanne Cavalier said the arrest appeared to be retaliation for Mr. Gershkovich’s coverage of the Ukraine war, while other experts suggested it gave Russia leverage for prisoner exchanges.

During the interview with the Russian leader, Mr. Carlson asked if he would release Gershkovich and allow him to return home. Putin replied that a deal was possible “if our partners took reciprocal steps.”

Other notable moments include Mr. Putin’s firm denial that he has any plans to invade Poland or other eastern European nations, as frequently claimed by US politicians. “If we don’t stop Putin’s appetite for power and control in Ukraine, he won’t limit himself just to Ukraine,” President Biden said last year, but Putin insisted this was untrue. “Why would we do that?” he asked.

Regarding the Ukraine war, Putin said if America really wanted it to end, it would stop supplying weapons and funding to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He furthermore stated that Ukraine refused to negotiate with Russia, making a peaceful solution “impossible.”

Russia’s leader also claimed that the United States blew up the Nord Stream pipeline in 2022 to curtail Europe’s reliance on Russian gas. White House Communications Coordinator John Kirby denied the claim and warned Americans not to believe “anything” the Russian President said.

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