“Americans Are Being Lied To About Ukraine” – Tucker Carlson Reflects On Putin, Zelensky, Navalny & Nuclear War

The international attacks on Tucker Carlson, especially from within US mainstream media and NATO-connected circles, have only increased following his hugely controversial eight day visit to Russia earlier this month where he interviewed President Vladimir Putin. Russian state media has even this week claimed authorities uncovered an “assassination plot” – rumored to have been backed by Kiev.

This week the former FOX prime time host was interviewed about his trip and the whole Putin interview experience in three-hour podcast hosted by Lex Fridman. Tucker Carlson revealed more about what motivated him to do the televised Putin segment, and further discussed his personal take on the Russia-Ukraine war and where it could go from here, now having entered its third year. Interestingly, Carlson’s main critique of the war focused not on Putin or the Kremlin’s actions in Ukraine, which of course are not under his control or influence, but on the impact to America.

Carlson explained that the West’s escalation of the conflict long ago into a full-blown proxy war has not only resulted in more needless Ukrainian deaths, but it has been devastating for the United States. “I reject the whole premise of the war in Ukraine from the American perspective,” Carlson told Fridman. “There’s a war going on that is wrecking the US economy in a way and at a scale that people do not understand.” He also generally characterized the response of the US political class to the conflict, along with the American public which has uncritically followed, as naive.

Carlson emphasized that what would be a cautiously realist approach was utterly abandoned by Washington from the start, as has been typical of the past decades of US interventionism abroad. “It doesn’t even matter what I want to happen… that’s a distortion of what is happening,” Carlson explained, and pointed to Russia having 100 million more people and more defense industry might “than all of NATO combined.”

He described that a big part of the rationale behind the Putin interview was to bring “more information” to the West so that “people could make their own decisions about whether” escalation of weapons to Kiev and jingoistic rhetoric from Western capitals is a good idea.

Ultimately, he said, Americans are being lied to:

"Just to be clear, I have no plans to move to Russia. I think I would probably be arrested if I moved to Russia. Ed Snowden, who is the most famous openness, transparency, advocate in the world, I would say along with Assange, doesn’t want to live in Russia. He’s had problems with the Putin government. He’s attacked Putin. They don’t like it. I get it. I get it. I’m just saying, what are the lessons for us?

The main lesson is we are being lied to in a way that’s bewildering and very upsetting. I was mad about it all eight days I was there because I feel like I’m better informed than most people because it’s my job to be informed. I’m skeptical of everything and yet I was completely hoodwinked by it."

Topics highlighted throughout the long-ranging conversion included Carlson’s personal take on being one-on-one with a seemingly “nervous” Putin, the question of ending the war in Ukraine, the role of the CIA and Western intelligence services, the prospect that the crisis could spiral into nuclear confrontation with the West, the Alexei Navalny saga, as well as a foray into the Israel-Palestine conflict near the end. Watch the full Carlson-Fridman interview below…

The following are some key excerpts of Tucker Carlson’s words from the interview, selected by ZeroHedge [emphasis ours]…

Carlson On Putin. “I want to know who this guy is.”

I thought he seemed nervous, and I was very surprised by that. And I thought he seemed like someone who’d overthought it a little bit, who had a plan, and I don’t think that’s the right way to go into any interview. My strong sense, having done a lot of them for a long time, is that it’s better to know what you think, to say as much as you can honestly, so you don’t get confused by your own lies, and just to be yourself. And I thought that he went into it like an over-prepared student, and I kept thinking, “Why is he nervous?” But I guess because he thought a lot of people were going to see it…

I mean, I asked him as I usually do the most obvious dumbest question ever, which is, “Why’d you do this?” And he had said in a speech that I think is worth reading. I don’t speak Russian, so I haven’t heard it in the original, but he had said at the moment of the beginning of the war, he had given this address to Russians, in which he explained to the fullest extent we have seen so far why he was doing this. And he said in that speech, “I fear that NATO the West, the United States, the Biden administration will preemptively attack us.” And I thought, “Well, that’s interesting.” I can’t evaluate whether that’s a fear rooted in reality or one rooted in paranoia. But I thought, “Well, that’s an answer right there.”

And so I alluded to that in my question and rather than answering it, he went off on this long from my perspective, kind of tiresome, sort of greatest hits of Russian history. And the implication I thought was, “Well, Ukraine is ours, or Eastern Ukraine is ours already.”…

I want to know who this guy is. I think a western audience, a global audience, has a right to know more about the guy, and so just let him talk. Because I don’t feel like my reputation’s on the line. People have already drawn conclusions about me, I suppose to the extent they have. I’m not interested really in those conclusions anyway, so just let him talk. And so I calmed down and just let him talk. And in retrospect, I thought that was really, really interesting. Whether you agree with it or not, or whether you think it’s relevant to the war in Ukraine or not, that was his answer. And so it’s inherently significant.

American falsehoods & the Ukraine war

I mean, I guess I reject the whole premise of the war in Ukraine from the American perspective, which is a tiny group of dumb people in Washington has decided to do this for reasons they won’t really explain. And you don’t have a role in it at all as an American citizen, as the person who’s paying for it, whose children might be drafted to fight it. To shut up and obey, I just reject that completely. I think, I guess I’m a child of a different era. I’m a child of participatory democracy to some extent, where your opinion as a citizen is not irrelevant. And I guess the level of lying about it was starting to drive me crazy.

The idea that Ukraine would inevitably win this war. Now victory was never, as it never is, defined precisely. Nothing’s ever defined precisely, which is always to tell that there’s deception at the heart of the claim. But Ukraine’s on the verge of winning. Well, I don’t know. I mean, I’m hardly a tactician or military expert. For the fifth time, I’m not an expert on Russia or Ukraine. I just looked at Wikipedia. Russia has a hundred million more people than Ukraine, a hundred million.

It has much deeper industrial capacity, war material capacity than all of NATO combined. For example, Russia is turning out artillery shells, which are significant in a ground war at a ratio of seven to one compared to all NATO countries combined. That’s all of Europe. Russia is producing seven times the artillery shells as all of Europe combined. What? That’s an amazing fact, and it turns out to be a really significant fact. In fact, the significant fact. But if you ask your average person in this country, even a fairly well-informed person of good faith who’s just trying to understand what’s going on, who’s going to win this war? Well, Ukraine’s going to win. They’re on the right side.

…And I raised that question in my previous job, and I was denounced as of course a traitor or something. But okay, great, I’m a traitor. What’s the answer? What’s the answer? [Vic]Toria Nuland, who I know, not dumb, hasn’t helped the US in any way, an architect of the Iraq war, architect of this disaster, one of the people who destroyed the US dollar. Okay, fine, but you’re not stupid. So you’re trying to get a war by acting that way, what’s the other explanation? By the way, NATO didn’t want Ukraine because it didn’t meet the criteria for admission. So why would you say that? Because you want a war, that’s why. And that war has enriched a lot of people to the tune of billions. So I don’t care if I sound like some kind of left-wing conspiracy nut, because I’m neither left-wing nor a conspiracy nut. Tell me how I’m wrong.

On feeling sorry for Zelensky

If I’m a Russian or a Ukrainian, let’s just be sovereign countries now. We’re not run by the U.S. State Department. We’re just our own countries. I believe in sovereignty, okay? So that’s my view. I also want to say one thing about Zelensky. I attacked him before because I was so offended by his cavalier talk about nuclear exchange because it would kill my family. So I’m really offended by that. Anyone who talks that way I’m offended by. But I do feel for Zelensky. I do. He didn’t run for president to have this happen.

I think Zelensky’s been completely misused by the State Department, by Toria Nuland, by our Secretary of State, by the policymakers in the U.S. who’ve used Ukraine as a vessel for their ambitions, their geopolitical ambitions, but also the many American businesses who’ve used Ukraine as a way to fleece the American taxpayer, and then by just independent ghouls like Boris Johnson who are hoping to get rich from interviews on it. The whole thing, Zelensky is at the center of this. He’s not driving history. NATO and the United States is driving history. Putin is driving history. There’s this guy, Zelensky. So I do feel for him, and I think he’s in a perilous place.

The prospect of nuclear war

Well it’s been what, 80 years? Not even 80 years, 79. And so we haven’t had a world war in 79 years. But one nuclear exchange would of course kill more people than all wars in human history combined.

I am counting. Because I think it obviously, it’s completely demonic and everyone pretends like it’s great. Nuclear weapons are evil.

The use of them is evil, and the technology itself is evil. And in my opinion, I mean, it’s like if you can’t, that’s just so obvious. And what I’m saying is I’m not against all technology. I took a shower this morning. It was powered by an electric pump, heated by a water heater. I loved it. I sat in an electric sauna. I’m not against all technology, obviously, but the mindless worship of technology?

The possibility of Russia-Ukraine Peace: Putin “wants a settlement”

He [Putin] wants a settlement, he wants a settlement. He doesn’t want to fight with them rhetorically and he just wants to get this done. He made a bunch of offers at the peace deal. We wouldn’t even know this happened if the Israelis hadn’t told us. I’m so grateful that they did that, that Johnson was dispatched by the State Department to stop it. I mean, I think Boris Johnson is a husk of a man. But imagine if you were Boris Johnson and you spend your whole life with Ukraine flag, “I’m for Ukraine,” and then all those kids died because of what you did, and the lines haven’t really moved. It hasn’t been a victory for Ukraine. It’s not going to be a victory for Ukraine. It’s like, how do you feel about yourself if you did that? I mean, I’ve done a lot of shitty things in my life, I feel bad about them, but I’ve never extended a war for no reason. That’s a pretty grave sin in my opinion.

Well, the U.S. government’s not allowing negotiations. So that for me is the most upsetting part. It’s like in the end, what Russia does, I’m not implicated in that. What Ukraine does, I’m not implicated in that. I’m not Russian or Ukrainian. I’m an American who grew up really believing in my country. I’m supporting my country through my tax dollars. It’s like I really care about what the U.S. government does because they’re doing it in my name, and I care a lot because I’m American. We are the impediment to peace, which is another way of saying we are responsible for all these innocent people getting dragooned out of public parks in Kiev and sent to go die. What? That is not good. I’m ashamed of it.

On the Alexey Navalny saga

Well, it’s awful. I mean, imagine dying in prison. I’ve thought about it a lot. I’ve known a lot of people in prison a lot, including some very good friends of mine. So I felt instantly sad about it. From a geopolitical perspective, I don’t know any more than that. And I laugh at and sort of resent, but mostly find amusing the claims by American politicians, who really are the dumbest politicians in the world actually, “This happened and here’s what it means.” And it’s like, “Actually as a factual matter, we don’t know what happened. We don’t know what happened.” We have no freaking idea what happened. We can say, and I did say, and I will say again, I don’t think you should put opposition figures in prison. I really don’t. I don’t, period. It happens a lot around the world, happens in this country, as you know, and I’m against all of it.

But do we know how we died? The short answer? No, we don’t. Now, if I had to guess, I would say killing Navalny during the Munich Security Conference in the middle of a debate over $60 billion in Ukraine funding, maybe the Russians are dumb. I didn’t get that vibe at all. I don’t see it. But maybe they killed him. I mean, they certainly put him in prison, which I’m against. But here’s what I do know is that we don’t know. And so when Chuck Schumer stands up and… Joe Biden reads some card in front of him with lines about Navalny, it’s like, I’m allowed to laugh at that because it’s absurd. You don’t know.

An interesting CIA anecdote

I was like, live in foreign countries, see history happen. I’m for that. I applied to the Operations Directorate. They turned me down on the basis of drug use actually. True. But anyway, whatever. I was unsuited for it so I’m glad they turned me down. But the point is I didn’t see CIA as a threat, partly because I was bathing in propaganda about CIA and I didn’t really understand what it was and didn’t want to know. But second, because my impression at the time was it was outwardly focused. It was focused on our enemies. I don’t have a problem with that as much. The fact that CIA is playing in domestic politics and actually has for a long time, was involved in the Kennedy assassination, that’s not speculation. That’s a fact. And I confirmed that from someone who had read their documents that are still not public, it’s shocking.

You can’t have that. And the reason I’m so mad is I really believe in the idea of representative government. Acknowledging its imperfections, but I should have some say, I live here, I’m a citizen. I pay all your freaking taxes. So the fact that they would be tampering with American democracy is so outrageous to me. And I don’t know why Morning Joe is not outraged. This parade of dummies, highly credentialed dummies they have on Morning Joe every day. That doesn’t bother them at all. How could that not bother you? Why is only Glenn Greenwald mad about it? I mean, it’s confirmed. It’s not like a fever dream. It’s real. They played in the last election domestically, and I guess it shows how dumb I am because they’ve been doing that for many years. I mean, the guy who took out Mosaddegh lived on my street. One of the Roosevelt’s, CIA officer.

Carlson on the Israel-Palestine conflict

I mean, it’s not a topic that I get into a lot because I’m a non-expert and because I’m not… Unlike every other American, I’m not emotionally invested in other countries just in general. I mean, I admire them or not, and I love visiting them. I love Jerusalem, probably my favorite city in the world, but I don’t have an emotional attachment to it. So maybe I’ve got more clarity. I don’t know, maybe less. Here’s my view. I believe in sovereignty as mentioned, and I think each country has to make decisions based on its own interest, but also with reference to its own capabilities and its own long-term interest.

And it’s very unwise for… I’m not a huge fan of treaties. Some are fine, too many bad. But I think US aid, military aid to Israel and the implied security guarantees, some explicit, but many implied, security guarantees of the United States to Israel probably haven’t helped Israel that much long-term. It’s a rich country with a highly capable population. Like every other country, it’s probably best if it makes its decisions based on what it can do by itself. So I would definitely be concerned if I lived in Israel because I think fair or unfair-

But now it’s not possible. If you had a coalition of countries against Israel, I know Israel has nuclear weapons and has a capable military and all that and the backing of the United States, but it’s a small country, I think I’d be very worried. So there’s that. I don’t see any advantage to the United States. I mean, I think it’s important for each country to make its own decisions.

This week there’s been a curious story to emerge in Russian state media sources involving a bizarre ‘assassination plot’ linked to Kiev, which allegedly was supposed to target Carlson while he was in Russia. Interestingly, the allegations have been picked up in major Indian media outlets, among some other international outlets, though it warrants a high degree of skepticism…

A man has been arrested by security services here in Moscow for plotting an assassination attempt on Tucker Carlson

The man is from Podolsk and says he was acting on instructions from Ukraines SBU. He claims he was promised $4,000 for "successfully completing the task" (bombing… pic.twitter.com/SCDSKGgeHS
— Chay Bowes (@BowesChay) February 26, 2024

Would Ukraine be this stupid? I doubt it. 🤷🏻‍♂️ https://t.co/fkZ41v65gC
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) February 26, 2024

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