(NewsNation) — Former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said former Fox News host Tucker Carlson did not push Russian President Vladimir Putin hard enough while questioning him during an interview Thursday.
"Look, Tucker's a dilettante and from his perspective — which is very Trumpian — if he gets publicity, he's happy for it," Bolton told NewsNation Friday.
For more than two hours as they talked, a largely unchallenged Putin spoke to Carlson about Kremlin talking points. However, Carlson didn't ask the Russian President about war crimes his troops have been accused of.
Carlson's interview with Putin was a rarity — the Russian president has limited his contact with international media, and cracked down on independent outlets in his own country, since the invading Ukraine in February 2022.
Ahead of the interview, White House national security spokesman John Kirby urged listeners "not to take at face value anything he has to say."
Bolton, speaking to "Morning in America," said Putin made an initiative in his remarks with Carlson to see if he could get negotiations started.
"(Putin) obviously picked what he thought would be a favorable environment in the interview," Bolton said. "I think this puts a real squeeze on (Ukrainian President) Volodymyr Zelensky... the evidence from that interview is, Putin is saying, 'I'm open to negotiation. But if you don't do it soon, I'll continue the war.'"
The Associated Press contributed to this report.