Edward Snowden
© Associated PressEdward Snowden was granted asylum in Russia in 2013. NSA whistleblower featured heavily in Russian media before seeking more privacy in his family life.
Tucker Carlson met with NSA leaker Edward Snowden while in Moscow, according to Semafor.

Comment: Russian news agency TASS confirmed the meeting.

The former whistleblower featured heavily in Russian media before seeking more privacy in his family life.

Mr Snowden was initially granted asylum in Russia in 2013 after leaking a trove of classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents, and then was granted permanent resident status in Russia in 2020.

Comment: Snowden may have narrowly escaped a fate similar to that of Julian Assange, who is currently suffering cruel and unusual punishment in prison in England.

That year, he announced his decision to seek duel citizenship, stating in a tweet that "after years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son."

Carlson reportedly met Snowden for hours, but the meeting was not for his video programme, the outlet noted.

But Carlson did record an interview with Tara Reade, a former Senate aide who later accused President Joe Biden of sexual assault, which he has denied.

The former aide moved to Russia after sharing her increasingly supportive views of Russian policies.

Comment: And one can imagine that, as with the other exiles, she was seeking safety.

The Russian UN delegation called on her to speak in 2022 regarding "weapons diversion", and she had Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN appear on her YouTube channel.

Carlson did appear sceptical of her allegations against Biden in 2020.

Comment: Carlson has since changed his stance on a number of topics, including that he no longer believes the official story about 9/11.

The former Fox News host was heavily criticised for seeking an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was his main purpose for travelling to Moscow.

The interview was released on Thursday evening and began with a lengthy diatribe from Mr Putin regarding Russian and Ukrainian history.

"Tucker Carlson is far from being the first Western journalist to have aligned himself with the enemy. There's a long tradition of the likes of Hitler and Stalin finding pliable Brits and Americans to do their propaganda for them," Jamie Dettmer wrote for Politico.

Exiled Russian businessman and opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former oligarch who lives in London following his 2003 jailing in Russia after falling out with Mr Putin, noted on X that Carlson is part of the Kremlin's effort to get Western approval.

"It needs Western approval. This is why, for example, Russian propagandists have taken to writing pro-Putin comments under articles on Western news sites under assumed European and American names, then reprinting them as 'Western opinions'," he wrote. "This is where Tucker Carlson comes in. He's been complimentary of Putin for years, even as the dictator became persona non grata among the broader Western public. So when he visited Moscow, he got the superstar treatment."

Comment: Propagandistic nonsense, as the increasingly informed general public are coming to realise, and it's why, such as above, the establishment doth protest too much.

"His visit has received more media coverage than any visiting world leader or celebrity in years. His every move was portrayed as a matter of national importance - all because he satisfies the regime's need for approval from the West," the dissident wrote regarding Carlson's Moscow trip.

Mr Putin took his chance to lay out his distorted version of history, claiming that Ukraine is not a real country.

"After World War II, Ukraine received in addition to the lands that had belonged to Poland before the war, both of the lands that had previously belonged to Hungary and Romania - so Romania and Hungary had some of their lands taken away and given to the Soviet Ukraine, and they still remain part of Ukraine," he claimed.

"So in this sense, we have every reason to affirm that Ukraine is an artificial state that was shaped at Stalin's will," Mr Putin argued.