Fact Check: Tucker Carlson Did NOT Ask Putin Why He Believes That 'A Christian Can Be Gay' -- Quote Was Made Up

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Tucker Carlson Did NOT Ask Putin Why He Believes That 'A Christian Can Be Gay' -- Quote Was Made Up Meme

Did Tucker Carlson ask Vladimir Putin about the underlying reasons for his supposed belief that Christians can be gay? No, that's not true: A post on social media didn't show an authentic quote from that interview. Neither a recording of the interview nor its transcript included the quote, and the post's caption included hashtags with the word "meme" in them.

The story originated from a post (archived here) on Instagram published on February 10, 2024. It showed the following exchange:

Carlson: So why do you believe a Christian can be gay?
Putin: Well, to understand that, we have to go back to Sodom and Gomorrah.

This is what it looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-02-12 at 10.04.25 AM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Mon Feb 12 15:04:25 2024 UTC)

As seen in the screenshot above, by including the hashtags #christianmemes and #christianmemesdaily, the caption explicitly said that the "quote" is a meme -- one of many that started to circulate on social media after an interview (archived here) between Carlson and Putin was released on February 8, 2024.

Yet, neither the video recording of the interview nor its transcript (archived here) published on the Kremlin's website two days later contained such a question.

Additionally, a search on Google News (archived here) did not show any credible news coverage confirming that the question about Christian gay people was asked.

Just like some other memes, the post that is the focus of this fact check was a reaction to the fragment of the interview that captured Putin's lengthy ruminations about history in the context of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Putin claims he is no stranger to the Russian Orthodox Church. In 2013, he said he had been "secretly" baptized (archived here) in his childhood during the Soviet years.

However, in 2024, Putin was unlikely to discuss gay people and church in an interview widely advertised by state-affiliated actors for domestic audiences in Russia, given that in November 2023, Russia had effectively outlawed LGBTQ+ activism (archived here.)

Other Lead Stories fact checks about the stories related to the Russian-Ukrainian war can be found here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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