EU lawmakers threaten Tucker Carlson with sanctions over Putin interview

Some legislators of the organization are calling the host a propagandist for the Russian regime and would be in favor of a travel restriction against the journalist.

Host Tucker Carlson could face sanctions from the European Union over his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a Newsweek report.

The conversation with Putin could put the American journalist in trouble with some EU MEPs, such as Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister and current member of the European Parliament who threatened Carlson with sanctions.

The lawmaker called on the EU to evaluate the possibility of imposing a travel ban on Tucker Carlson, whom he described as a spokesperson for former President Donald Trump and Putin himself.

"As Putin is a war criminal and the EU sanctions all who assist him in that effort, it seems logical that the External Action Service examine his case as well," Verhofstadt told Newsweek.

Luis Garicano, a former MEP, also told Newsweek that Tucker Carlson should be sanctioned because his work does not represent journalism but Kremlin propaganda.

"He is no longer a newsman, but a propagandist for the most heinous regime on European soil and the one which is most dangerous to our peace and security," Garicano said.

However, a sanction against Tucker Carlson would be very difficult to materialize.

For a person to be added to the EU sanctions list, compelling evidence must be presented to the External Action Service (EAS), the diplomatic arm of the EU that is in charge of the bloc's foreign policy.

"If deemed sufficient, the EAS can then present the case to the European Council—the body made up of EU national leaders—which takes the final decision on whether to impose sanctions," Newsweek reads.

However, to apply a travel restriction against Tucker Carlson, strong evidence that the journalist is closely linked to the Kremlin will probably be needed, sources explained to the outlet.

Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson's interview will air on Thursday, February 8, at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Some important voices in the United States reacted with concern to reports of possible EU sanctions against Tucker Carlson, including tycoon Elon Musk, owner of X. On this platform, the interview will be published without censorship.

"If true, this would be disturbing indeed," Musk wrote in X, quoting independent journalist Brian Krassenstein. "One may agree with Tucker or not, but he is a major American journalist and such an action would greatly offend the American public."

For his part, Krassenstein, a frequent critic of Carlson himself, also defended the controversial conservative host.

"I never thought I would be defending Tucker Carlson so much within a period of a couple days, but once again, if you support freedom then you should support Tucker's right to interview Putin, just like many others have in the past," Krassenstein wrote. "I'm sure much of what Putin will say will be lies, embellishments and inaccuracies. Putin is the one who should be sanctioned further, not an American who is asking Putin questions."