‘Sleazy Boris Johnson asked me for one million dollars to interview him,’ says Tucker Carlson

A war of words has erupted between Boris Johnson and Tucker Carlson over claims the former prime minister was prepared to debate the controversial right-wing journalist for $1m.

Mr Carlson, who this month interviewed Vladimir Putin, said Mr Johnson had demanded the seven-figure sum for a sitdown interview on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

But Mr Johnson has disputed Mr Carlson’s account as “untrue”, with allies of the ex-PM saying he had offered to take part in the interview for a million-dollar donation to Ukrainian veterans’ charities.

Mr Carlson also mocked Mr Johnson, joking that ‘his name’s not actually Boris’ (Getty)
Mr Carlson also mocked Mr Johnson, joking that ‘his name’s not actually Boris’ (Getty)

It is understood Mr Johnson pulled out after the murder of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Mr Carlson has been ridiculed in recent weeks over his support for Putin and the Kremlin, having filmed videos praising Russian shopping trolleys and admiring Moscow’s subway system.

It came after the former Fox News host sat down for a fawning two-hour interview with the authoritarian Russian leader.

Mr Johnson attacked Mr Carlson’s Putin interview, saying it was straight out of “Hitler’s playbook”.

He said the American broadcaster had been the “stooge of the tyrant, the dictaphone to the dictator and a traitor to journalism”.

And, in a column for Mail+, he accused Mr Carlson of betraying “viewers and listeners around the world” for not taking the Russian leader to task for “the torture, the rapes, the blowing up of kindergartens” in Ukraine, pointing out that “not once did he even try to dam the flow of lies”.

Speaking to right-wing outlet The Blaze, Mr Carlson hit back at the ex-PM.

“Boris Johnson, who was for a short time the prime minister of Great Britain … calls me a tool of the Kremlin or something,” he said.

He added: “I was annoyed. So I put in a request for an interview with Boris Johnson, as I have many times because he’s constantly denouncing me as a tool of the Kremlin. He says no.”

Mr Carlson said that after reaching out to “a lot of people who know Boris Johnson”, he was told he would do the interview “but it’s going to cost you $1m”.

“I said to the guy … I just interviewed Vladimir Putin. I’m not defending Putin, but Putin didn’t ask for a million dollars. So you’re telling me that Boris Johnson is a lot sleazier than Vladimir Putin?

“Which is true.”

A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: “This account is untrue.”

Mr Carlson also mocked Mr Johnson, whose real name is Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

“His name’s not actually Boris… his name is Alex Johnson, he called himself Boris in high school, so the guy who calls himself Boris is accusing me?” he added.