“Morning Joe” cohost Joe Scarborough didn’t pull any punches on Tucker Carlson’s upcoming interview with Russia President Vladimir Putin, saying in a Wednesday segment that the former Fox News host is one of the Kremlin’s “puppets” who does their “bidding” by attacking Western journalists.
Not naming Carlson by name but referring to him as “somebody that we used to know” (Carlson previously hosted “Tucker” on MSNBC from 2005–2008), Scarborough said that the now-independent conservative news personality is “going over, doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding, attacking Western journalists saying, ‘If only Western journalists would’ve come over here and tried to even report fairly on the war.'”
Scarborough then held up a full page of The Wall Street Journal covering its own reporter, Evan Gershkovich, who is currently detained in Russia. The newspaper read in bold, massive lettering: #IStandWithEvan.
“Well, there have been Western journalists that have gone over and tried to report fairly on the war, and they’re in jail,” Scarborough said. “They’re in Gulags right now because Vladimir Putin doesn’t want Western journalists going over and asking honest questions, fair questions. He’ll let puppets talk to him, but nobody else.”
.@JoeNBC: "I don't think all House Republicans understand what a dangerous game they're playing with Vladimir Putin… If the West buckles on Ukraine aid, if Trump's elected— that's the end of NATO. That's the end of any deterrence with Putin. He'll sweep across Eastern Europe." pic.twitter.com/QoXksvQHDA
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) February 7, 2024
Carlson announced Tuesday that he is set to air an interview with President Putin on his social media news show, “TCN on X.”
“We are not here because we love Vladimir Putin. We are here because we love the United States, and we want it to remain prosperous and free,” Carlson said in a video teasing the upcoming interview, which had still not been released. He said the entire thing would soon be posted for free, unedited, on his website tuckercarlson.com.
In that same video, Carlson accused Western journalists of refusing to interview Putin since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that it was his responsibility to step up and do the job: “We’re in journalism. Our duty is to inform people. Two years into a war that’s reshaping the entire world, most Americans are not informed,” he said. “They have no real idea what is really happening in this region, here in Russia, or 600 miles away in Ukraine. But they should know. They’re paying for it.”
The claim that Western media has refused to interview Putin was swiftly denied by journalists on social media and disproven directly by the Kremlin, whose spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday, “We receive many requests for interviews with the president.” Peskov added that Carlson was approved because “his position is different” from the major “Anglo-Saxon media,” according to The Washington Post.
Back on “Morning Joe,” Scarborough’s comments came amid a larger conversation on the Republican’s shifting relationship with Putin.
“If Donald Trump’s elected, then that’s the end of NATO,” he said. “That’s the end of any deterrence with Vladimir Putin. He’ll sweep across Eastern Europe, he’ll go through the Balkan states.”
Watch the full “Morning Joe” segment in the video embed above.