Putin: Why Would U.S. Want War With Russia?

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Tucker Carlson
Russian president Vladimir Putin and Tucker Carlson | Image by Tucker Carlson Network

Vladimir Putin implored Americans to consider whether they “have anything better to do” when Tucker Carlson informed him that the Senate majority leader recently suggested U.S. troops could be fighting in Eastern Europe in the future.

In a two-hour sit-down with the Russian president, Carlson challenged Putin to defend his actions and policies before an American public that has heard constantly from Western leaders and institutions that he is a killer and criminal bent on recreating the USSR.

Putin began by justifying his invasion of Ukraine, grounding his argument in Russia’s historical claims to parts of a country, which he described as an “artificial state” comprised in part of historically Polish, Hungarian, and Romanian lands.

When Carlson asked Putin if he was implying that other countries should engage with Russia to carve up Ukraine in order to restore the borders that existed centuries ago, Putin left it an open question.

While denying he ever made such an overture to Hungarian President Victor Orbán, Putin said, “I actually know for sure that Hungarians who live there wanted to get back to their historical land.”

Western news outlets have tried to snag an interview with Putin ever since the Russian army entered Ukraine in February 2022, notwithstanding Carlson’s claim in the lead-up to the interview that such outlets had not shown interest in engaging with the Russian president. However, all but Carlson have been rebuffed.

The former Fox News host asked Putin if he had evidence that the truth was on his side regarding the bombing of the Nord Stream undersea pipeline, as well as why did he not engage in a public relations battle with the United States to “win a propaganda victory?”

Putin laughed as he explained why he thought that would be a fool’s errand.

“In the war of propaganda, it is very difficult to defeat the United States because the United States controls all the world’s media and many European media,” he claimed. “The ultimate beneficiary of the biggest European media are American financial institutions. Don’t you know that? So it is possible to get involved in this work, but it is cost prohibitive, so to speak.”

Carlson also asked Putin to consider whether he was making Russia subservient to China: “Maybe you trade one colonial power for another, a much less sentimental and forgiving colonial power. Is the BRICS, for example, in danger of being completely dominated by the Chinese, the Chinese economy, in a way that is not good for their sovereignty?”

Putin called such concerns scaremongering “boogeymen stories.” He explained that China and Russia have been neighbors for centuries in relative peace.

“China’s foreign policy philosophy is not aggressive. Its idea is to always look for compromise, and we can see that,” he claimed.

“The West fears a strong China more than it fears a strong Russia because Russia has 150 million people and China has a 1.5 billion population, and its economy is growing by leaps and bounds — over 5% a year,” Putin said. “… China’s potential is enormous. It is the biggest economy in the world today in terms of purchasing power parity and the size of the economy. It has already overtaken the United States quite a long time ago.”

Putin also explained that during the years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia tried to join the West, but its efforts were rejected. Instead, NATO continued to expand right up to Russia’s border, which he said made it clear to him that the West was interested only in Russia’s capitulation.

“We never agreed to NATO’s expansion, and moreover, we never agreed that Ukraine would be in NATO. We did not agree to NATO bases there without any discussion with us,” he said.

He pointed out that to Russia, Ukraine has been at war — albeit a civil war — since 2014 following the Maidan Revolution or coup. He claimed Russia intervened to stop the bloodshed.

“Initially, it was the coup in Ukraine that provoked the conflict,” Putin asserted, arguing that the events were part of a CIA operation.

“It was [the CIA] who started the war in 2014. Our goal is to stop this war. And we did not start this war in 2022. This is an attempt to stop it,” he said.

Putin also claimed that the U.S. government’s pursuit of a Russian defeat was causing the dollar to falter. He blamed the policy mentality on an out-of-touch Western elite.

He said Western elites have reacted to a changing world by relying on force: “This is about self-conceit. Your political establishment does not understand that the world is changing under objective circumstances.”

He dismissed the notion that any one leader in the United States could change such a purported dynamic, saying, “It is not about the personality of the leader. It is about the elites’ mindset. If the idea of domination at any cost based also on forceful actions dominates the American society, nothing will change. It will only get worse.”

Carlson asked Putin about comments made by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on MSNBC Monday, which suggested that U.S. troops could be fighting in Eastern Europe if Congress did not authorize the billions of dollars in taxpayer spending the Biden administration has been demanding to support Ukraine.

“This a provocation, and a cheap provocation at that. I do not understand why American soldiers should fight in Ukraine. There are mercenaries from the United States there,” Putin claimed. “If somebody has the desire to send regular troops, that would certainly bring humanity to the brink of very serious global conflict. This is obvious. Does the United States need this? What for? Thousands of miles away from your national territory. Don’t you have anything better to do? You have issues on the border. Issues with migration. Issues with the national debt. More than $33 trillion. You have nothing better to do, so you should fight in Ukraine. Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate with Russia?”

The interview prompted the expression of highly polarizing opinions, with some pundits praising Carlson for allowing Americans access to a different perspective on an important conflict.

On GB News, Candace Owens lauded Carlson for engaging with Putin, saying, “You should hear different sides and come to conclusions after researching what both sides are saying.”

In contrast, Hillary Clinton called Carlson “a useful idiot” on MSNBC: ”I 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.”

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