The Kremlin Is Reportedly Thrilled With Tucker Carlson’s Ukraine Coverage

The Kremlin reportedly ordered government-friendly media outlets to use clips of the Fox News host as often as possible.
Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium Feszt on August 7, 2021 in Esztergom, Hungary. (Janos Kummer/Getty Images)
Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium Feszt on August 7, 2021 in Esztergom, Hungary. (Janos Kummer/Getty Images)

The Kremlin reportedly told government-friendly media outlets in Russia it was “​​essential to use as much as possible” clips of Tucker Carlson pinning blame for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on the U.S., NATO, and Ukrainian government, according to leaked memos obtained by Mother Jones

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The memo, dated March 3, says that Carlson “sharply criticizes the actions of the United States [and] NATO, their negative role in unleashing the conflict in Ukraine, [and] the defiantly provocative behavior from the leadership of the Western countries and NATO towards the Russian Federation and towards President Putin, personally.” 

Carlson’s criticism of American politicians and of Ukraine in the immediate aftermath of the invasion last month was translated and replayed on Russian state TV

“Before [the U.S. enters a conflict in Eastern Europe] it might be worth asking yourself: What is this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much?” Carlson said, ostensibly comparing the Russian president to American liberals. “Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him?”

Fox News did not respond to a request for comment from Mother Jones, nor did they immediately respond to a request for comment from VICE News Monday. 

Though Carlson denounced Putin and his decision to start a war with Ukraine once the full-scale invasion began, he’s since pivoted back to a more Russian state–friendly line. 

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Last week, for example, Carlson implied that Vice President Kamala Harris had goaded Putin into the invasion by saying during the Munich Security Conference last month that she “appreciate[d] and admire[d]” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s “desire to join NATO.”

“The invasion was no surprise to the Biden administration,” Carlson said, describing Harris’s comments effectively as an “up yours” to Putin. “They knew that would happen—that was the point of the exercise.”

Another memo, dated March 10, cited Carlson’s criticism of Western sanctions against Russia and how they might impact Americans. “If you want to get to the bottom of it, just think about who will suffer the most from sanctions?” Carlson said. “The answer is not on the surface. Middle-income Americans will suffer.”

The memo reportedly said that Carlson’s argument “can be reinforced with a selection of reports that enthusiastically encourage Americans to tighten their belts in the name of saving Ukraine.”

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