Jul 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Tucker Carlson: "I don’t really care" what Putin does in Ukraine

Fox News host Tucker Carlson speaks during the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit on March 29, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said at a conference on Friday that he doesn't "really care one way or the other" what Russian President Vladimir Putin does in Ukraine.

The big picture: Carlson's appearance as the keynote speaker at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa has sparked rumors of a potential 2024 presidential run.

  • The summit is an influential platform for Republican politics in Iowa ahead of presidential elections, as the New York Times' Maggie Haberman has noted.

Driving the news: "I'm not a Putin defender, despite what you might have heard," Carlson told the crowd in Des Moines, Iowa. "I don't really care one way or the other because he's not my president, he doesn't preside over my country."

  • "What he does in Ukraine — while I think historically significant, certainly significant to Ukrainians — is not more significant to me than what gas costs," Carlson added. "In fact, it's not even in the same universe."

Background: Carlson has been accused of defending the Russian autocrat on his nightly Fox News segment.

  • Carlson suggested that Italy is a bigger threat to the U.S. than Russia on Wednesday, according to Insider.
  • The Kremlin also suggested in a March memo that Russian state media feature Carlson more frequently due to his commentary on the war in Ukraine, Mother Jones reported.
Go deeper