Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned Tucker Carlson’s interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling the ex-Fox News host a “useful idiot” of the Kremlin.
“If you actually read translations of what’s being said on Russian media, they make fun of him,” Clinton told MSNBC Wednesday night. “I mean he’s like a puppy dog, you know.”
She added that she “would not be surprised if he emerges with a contract with a Russian outlet because he is a useful idiot.”
“He says things that are not true, he parrots Vladimir Putin’s pack of lies about Ukraine, so I don’t see why Putin wouldn’t give him an interview, because through him, he can you know, continue to lie about, what his you know objectives are in Ukraine and you know what he expects to see happen,” Clinton added.
Clinton’s remarks came the day after both Carlson and the Kremlin confirmed that a sit-down interview with Putin had occurred, marking the first time the Russian leader has been interviewed by a Western media figure since the start of his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
The interview—which is to be released today—was quickly condemned by critics of Putin, with some going as far as to suggest Carlson should be banned from returning to the U.S. or traveling within the European Union.
In a video posted to X on Tuesday, Carlson defended his decision to interview Putin, saying that “our duty is to inform people.”
“Two years into a war that’s reshaping the entire world, most Americans are not informed,” Carlson said. “They have no real idea what’s happening in this region, here in Russia or 600 miles away in Ukraine, but they should know.”
Carlson also said he had requested an interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In her MSNBC interview, Clinton went on to more broadly criticize the pro-Putin views that some Americans espouse.
“It’s really quite sad that not just somebody like Tucker Carlson, who has as I said has been fired so many times because he seems unable to you know, correlate his reporting with the truth, but also because it’s a sign that there are people in this country right now who are like a fifth column for Putin,” she said, before singling out former President Donald Trump for believing Putin “more than our 11 intelligence agencies.”
“There is a yearning for leaders who can kill and imprison their opponents, destroy the press, lead a life that is one of impunity, unbound by any laws,” she concluded of Putin’s proponents in the U.S. “There’s a yearning among certain people in our country for that kind of leadership and I find that absolutely gobsmacking terrifying.”