Javier Milei’s international popularity shows no sign of letting up – on Wednesday it emerged that the outspoken libertarian presidential frontrunner had caught the eye of no less than US journalist and fellow controversialist Tucker Carlson.
Carlson, 54, is best known as an outspoken former Fox News host. A thorn in the side of Democrats and a firm supporter of former US president Donald Trump, he was fired from the company back in May after Fox’s US$787-million payout to settle a defamation case brought by an election technology company.
Since then, Carlson has gone direct to viewers, snubbing offers to sign with traditional broadcasters and taking his own show direct to X, the social network formerly known as Twitter.
Among his list of recent interviewees is Trump (who drew more than 264.5 million views to the journalist’s feed), El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban and, just last week, a man who claimed to have had smoked crack cocaine and shared homosexual relations with former US president Barack Obama.
Milei, it seems, will now be joining that illustrious list. The La Libertad Avanza leader has been doing the rounds and boosting his international reputation since storming to victory in the August 13 PASO primaries, in which he finished first with 29.86 percent of the vote. Having granted lengthy interviews to heavyweight outlets such as Bloomberg and The Economist, among others, now it seems he’s setting his sights on the United States.
However, the approach for the interview seems to have come from Carlson himself. Multiple sources from Milei’s party shared posts on social media claiming that it was the American who approached the Argentine after taking interest in the libertarian’s performance in the primaries and feeling a sense of kin with his politics (Other unconfirmed claims on the same networks claim that Carlson was paid US$250,000 to do it – the Times was unable to confirm either explanation).
The US commentator’s arrival in the country was confirmed by Milei’s political consultant and advisor, Fernando Cerimedo, and Milei's main campaign publicist, Santiago Oría, via posts featuring photographs on social media sites.
The interview, which is yet to be confirmed by Carlson or his team, is expected to be aired on X in the coming weeks.
Carlson is infamous for his airing of conspiracy theories – from the "great replacement" of white Americans to vaccine falsehoods and anti-transgender propaganda – and was quick to spread disinformation, particularly Trump's baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 US election.
But the defamation case, in which Dominion Voting Systems accused Fox News of airing false claims after the election, led to the release of damning private messages between Fox hosts, including Carlson, who wrote that he couldn't wait until he could "ignore Trump most nights," adding: "I hate him passionately."