WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre blasted Tucker Carlson’s “ridiculous” claims about interference from the Biden administration ahead of his anticipated interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Carlson confirmed Tuesday afternoon that he will be interviewing Putin in Moscow — arguing in a view post on X that “Americans have a right to know” about the war being waged by the Kremlin in 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 former Fox News host claimed in his preview video.
“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.”
Asked about Carlson’s claim during her regular briefing on Tuesday, Jean-Pierre at first said she would “absolutely not” comment on the interview or Carlson’s claims.
However, moments later, Jean-Pierre changed course and said, “I actually want to go back to your question.”
“It’s a ridiculous premise and a ridiculous statement that was made about this administration,” she added. “So I just want to be very very clear — it’s just ridiculous.”
Carlson, who frequently criticizes US-backed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky amid Putin’s two-year-old invasion, did not spell out his allegation or provide evidence to support the claim during his brief video announcing the Putin interview.
Carlson alleged in June 2021 that a whistleblower told him the National Security Agency was “monitoring our electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air.”
The NSA denied the allegation.
Controversial Carlson text messages have been reported by news outlets, including as part of a defamation case against Fox News, regarding protesters and Carlson’s post-2020 election feelings toward then-outgoing President Donald Trump.