Speaking of the goals of what he called the “special military operation” in Ukraine, Putin said they had yet to be achieved, because one of the aims “is de-Nazification.” For the first time, Putin expanded on what he means by that. “This means the prohibition of all kinds of neo-Nazi movements. We have to get rid of those people who maintain this concept and support this practice and try to preserve it,” he said.
Asked about when he last spoke to U.S. President Joe Biden, Putin said “I cannot remember when I talked to him,” adding that the two last spoke before the Feb. 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
Carlson never mentioned former President Donald Trump by name, but Putin did. “I had such personal relationship with Trump,” he said, adding he also personally liked George W. Bush.
Asked for his thoughts on X owner Elon Musk, Putin said he was rumored to have implanted a chip in a human brain, adding: “I think there’s no stopping Elon Musk. He will do as he sees fit.”
Asked about Evan Gershkovich, the 32-year-old Wall Street Journal correspondent who has been in pre-trial detention for almost a year on espionage charges — allegations he and his employer have strongly rebuffed — Putin said the two countries’ special services were “in contact with one another” and there was “no taboo to settle this issue.”
“He’s not just a journalist. I reiterate. He’s a journalist who is secretly getting confidential information,” Putin said in answer to Carlson’s objections that Gershkovich is clearly not a spy.