Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson branded Tucker Carlson a “traitor to journalism” and asserted that his Vladimir Putin interview was “straight out of Hitler’s playbook” after the Russian strongman accused Johnson of scuppering a peace deal between Moscow and Kyiv during the early days of the war in 2022.
Responding to the interview with Putin, which he compared to interviews conducted with Adolph Hitler in 1940, Boris Johnson wrote in his column in the Daily Mail that the interview was “straight out of Hitler’s playbook” and that Tucker Carlson served as a “stooge of the tyrant, the dictaphone to the dictator and a traitor to journalism,” adding: “In his fawning, guffawing, slack-jawed happiness at having a ‘scoop’, he betrayed his viewers and listeners around the world.”
Johnson — who has been one of the most ardent backers of Ukraine since the Russian invasion of 2022, to such an extent that the former British leader has had streets renamed in his honour in Ukraine, and has been the subject of murals and paintings celebrating his devotion to the Ukrainian cause — compared Putin’s actions in Ukraine to Hitler in the Second World War and Carlson to those who opposed U.S. involvement in the war against the Nazis.
“I pray that the people of the U.S. are able to see through last night’s unholy charade of an interview. I know how many U.S. congress men and women have been fans of Tucker Carlson, and I say: remember Charles Lindbergh, remember the America Firsters, remember how many American legislators at first opposed involvement in the war with Hitler,” Johnson wrote.
“Well, they were wrong then, and the Tucker Carlsonites are grievously wrong about Putin today. To all those Republicans who are currently blocking aid to Ukraine, I say, for God’s sake remember who you are,” he continued.
Johnson went on to beseech former President Donald Trump, who has consistently called for peace talks to end the war, to “turn his party around” on the issue and to continue to arm Ukraine as he did in 2018, with the approval of the sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Kyiv.
The heated response came as Putin used the interview to accuse Johnson of preventing a peace deal in the early days of the war in 2022. While Johnson did not expressly deny urging the Ukrainians to walk away from the table, he said: “As every member of the Ukrainian government will confirm, from Zelensky down, nothing and no one could have stopped those lion-hearted Ukrainians from fighting for their country — and nothing will.”
‘We must not fall for this tissue of lies from Putin’
Boris slams Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin in his Mail column
— Mail+ (@DailyMailUK) February 9, 2024
In his interview with Tucker Carlson, the Russian strongman claimed that the Kremlin and Kyiv were willing to sign a peace agreement during negotiations in Istanbul, but that then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the Ukrainians to withdraw from the talks and reject the deal, saying “we could have stopped those hostilities with war a year and a half ago already”.
Putin claimed that the Zelensky government was willing to “obey the demand or persuasion of Mr Johnson,” adding: “Prime Minister Johnson came, [talked Ukraine] out of it and we missed that chance. Well, you missed it. You made a mistake.”
It is not the first time that Moscow has accused the former British leader of prolonging the war, which has seen an estimated half million killed or injured since the Russian invasion in 2022, with Kremlin spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claiming last year that Johnson “banned” Ukraine from agreeing to a peace settlement and “demanded the continuation of hostilities against Russia”.
Zakharova’s comments came in the wake of statements made by Davyd Arakhamia, the leader of President Zelensky’s Servant of the People party in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada parliament, who said that Johnson urged Ukraine to “not sign anything with [Russia] at all, and let’s just fight”. Arakhamia would later claim that his comments were being distorted by Moscow and that no foreign leader could have persuaded Ukraine to stand down in 2022.
The Zelensky ally also asserted that the talks in Istanbul were merely an attempt to buy the Ukrainian military time and that Russia’s demands — that Kyiv agrees to a neutrality pact along the lines of Finland — were impossible for Ukraine to agree to given that seeking membership in the NATO alliance had been codified into Ukraine’s constitution. Furthermore, Arakhamia said that there was no trust on the Ukrainian side that Putin would honour the terms of any deal.
Tucker Interview: Putin Repeats Russian Claim That Britain’s Boris Johnson Torpedoed Ukraine Peace Deal https://t.co/s4Y98xOuHh
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 9, 2024