Carlson on why he didn’t ask Putin about Navalny: ‘I’m not going to move the ball at all’

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Conservative commentator Tucker Carlson said he was “not going to move the ball” if he asked Russian President Vladimir Putin about the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

“Here’s what I learned — and I’m hardly a Russia expert — is this is an extremely complicated political environment, extremely like next level, OK. These are the people who dominate world chess, and so their politics are incomprehensible to me,” he told NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo in a conversation that aired on Monday.

Cuomo had asked Carlson why he chose not to ask Putin about the death of Navalny during his interview with the Russian leader last month. Carlson had received backlash for flying to Moscow and interviewing Putin, which Cuomo said at the time was a ploy to get “attention.”

Carlson ultimately said he decided not to ask about Navalny, suggesting it would not have changed anything.

“I’ve been in a lot of countries and covered a lot of stuff abroad. And the one thing I’ve learned is you actually don’t really know what’s going on. And so I had a bunch of Navalny questions, to answer your question, in my 4,700 questions that I’ve written out,” he said on “Cuomo.”

“And I decided on the fly not to ask it because I felt like, ‘What about Navalny?’ Well, whatever he’s going to say, I’m not going to move the ball at all. There’s a war going on that is resetting the world,” Carlson continued.

Russian officials announced last month that Navalny had died in the highest-security level prison facility in the country near the Arctic Circle. Officials said Navalny felt unwell after taking a walk and that attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

His death sparked outrage throughout the world, including from President Biden, who said Putin was to blame for his death. Carlson later told The Daily Mail that it was “horrifying what happened to Navalny,” adding that “no decent person would defend it.”

Carlson defended his interview with Putin in his conversation with Cuomo, saying that he wanted to know what Putin was thinking.

“But what I didn’t want to do is try to convince other journalists for whom I have no regard at all, for the most part, that I’m a good person. I don’t care what they think of me. They call me a Nazi all the time, which I’m not. So like, their views are totally immaterial. I just want to focus on what I want to focus on, and if you don’t like it, don’t watch it,” he said.

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