Allegations that the Biden administration “illegally spied” on Tucker Carlson left the White House press secretary quickly backtracking from no comment to address the “ridiculous premise.”
An interview at least three years coming was making waves online and evidently ruffling feathers in Washington, D.C. as the former Fox News host previewed his sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In the process, he reestablished claims that President Joe Biden’s administration had actively worked to undermine the conversation, up to and including allegations that intelligence agencies were accessing his private communications and leaking them to the media.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the matter during Tuesday’s briefing by Steven Nelson from the New York Post who said, “Tucker Carlson is in Moscow and just confirmed that he is going to be interviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
“He argues that Americans have a right to know all they can about a war they are implicated in,” the correspondent said. “Carlson contended in his preview video that the Biden administration has opposed even his attempts to interview Putin…Do you have a comment on either the interview or that allegation?”
“Absolutely not,” Jean-Pierre asserted before clarifying when prompted by James Rosen of Newsmax, “Absolutely not a comment, to be more clear, period.”
However, as Nelson moved on to ask whether DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had given false information to Congress about border security, the press secretary reversed course on her “Absolutely not” to assert, “It’s a ridiculous premise and a ridiculous statement that was made about this administration. So I just want to be very about…yes — just want to be very, very clear — it’s just ridiculous.”
Carlson spoke to the contrary in a video from Moscow where he previewed his interview with Putin he’d been trying to conduct since before the current war with Ukraine.
“Almost three years ago, the Biden administration illegally spied on our text messages and then leaked their contents to their servants in the news media,” the commentator alleged after establishing his premise that coverage of the conflict has been wholly one-sided.
“They did this in order to stop a Putin interview that we were planning. Last month, we’re pretty certain they did exactly the same thing once again. But this time, we came to Moscow anyway,” continued Carlson. “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.”
Why I’m interviewing Vladimir Putin. pic.twitter.com/hqvXUZqvHX
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) February 6, 2024
In July 2021, the then-Fox News host had originally said, “Late this spring, I contacted a couple of people I thought could help get us an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. I told nobody I was doing this other than my executive producer, Justin Wells.”
“I wasn’t embarrassed about trying to interview Putin. He’s obviously newsworthy. I’m an American citizen; I can interview anyone I want — and I plan to,” he noted. “But still, in this case, I decided to keep it quiet. I figured that any kind of publicity would rattle the Russians and make the interview less likely to happen.”
“But the Biden administration found out anyway by reading my emails,” alleged Carlson. “I learned from a whistleblower the NSA planned to leak the contents of those emails to media outlets.”
The National Security Agency had denied those allegations.
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