Johnson rejects Tucker Carlson claim he demanded a million dollars for interview

Boris Johnson has disputed Tucker Carlson’s claim that he demanded one million US dollars (around £793,000) for agreeing to an interview with the former Fox News host.

A spokesman for the former prime minister dismissed as “untrue” accusations levelled at him by Mr Carlson in an extended attack during an appearance on right-wing news channel Blaze TV.

The US presenter said he had been “annoyed” after Mr Johnson denounced him as a Kremlin stooge following his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He claimed he asked the former Tory MP for a talk and a member of Mr Johnson’s team said “it’s going to cost you one million dollars” and “then he will explain his position on Ukraine”.

Mr Carlson denied supporting Mr Putin’s regime, but added: “I’m not defending Putin, but Putin didn’t ask for one million dollars… This whole thing is a freaking shakedown.”

He said: “If you’re making money money off a war, you know, you can deal with God on that, because that’s really immoral.”

Russia Rewriting History
Mr Carlson interviewed the Russian President in Moscow (Sputnik, Kremlin, pool via AP)

The former prime minister’s team said Mr Carlson, an influential voice in right-wing US media known for having launched scathing attacks against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, had offered one million dollars for an interview on his channel.

Mr Johnson initially accepted, provided the money went solely to Ukrainian veteran charities, but decided not to go ahead with it after the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which has been widely blamed on the Kremlin, they said.

It is the latest flare-up in a row between the pair after Mr Johnson used his Daily Mail column to brand Mr Carlson “a traitor to journalism” for his interview with the Russian President.

Mr Johnson said the presenter had betrayed “viewers and listeners around the world” for not taking Mr Putin to task for “the torture, the rapes, the blowing up of kindergartens” in Ukraine.

The interview had seen the Moscow leader insist Mr Johnson helped scupper a deal aimed at ending the war – a claim that has been denied by the former MP and rubbished by senior Ukrainian figures.

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