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Aaron Rodgers praises Vladimir Putin as 'smart' in Tucker Carlson interview

The New York Jets star favorably compared the Russian president to President Joe Biden in a two-hour interview released Tuesday.
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NFL star Aaron Rodgers praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as an "interesting, smart individual" and railed against Covid vaccines, in a new interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson released Tuesday.

The New York Jets star and Super Bowl-winning quarterback said Carlson's interview with the Russian leader in February, Putin's first interview with any Western media since his forces invaded Ukraine in 2022, was "awesome."

New York Jets v Cleveland Browns
Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland on Dec. 28.Cooper Neill / Getty Images file

"Putin came off as an interesting, thoughtful, smart individual. And if you’ve read '1984,' the base game plan of government control is you have to have an enemy, and you have to slander that enemy regardless if you know anything about them," Rodgers said.

He went on to favorably compare Putin to President Joe Biden:

"I think a lot of people are like, ‘Oh, Putin apologists are like, whitewashing all the stuff that he’s done to the different people.’ I was just like, no, I’d love to, I’d love to see Joe Biden give an interview where he can speak on the history of the United States in the same way that Putin talked about the history of his country.”

Carlson began producing his own content, which he uploads to YouTube and X, after he left Fox a year ago.

The interview, which lasted more than two hours, focused on the pandemic and the ethics of vaccination, but also took in such issues as the inevitability of dying, the meaning of patriotism, Edward Snowden, psychedelic experiences, and how the government was suppressing evidence of alien life.

"There's some wild things out there that we don't know about at minimum," he said. "Whether you believe in alien life, UFOs, UAPs, whatever you want to call it, there's some technology out there that exists ... [but] the government or powers that be don't think we’re ready to be given that information, which is wild."

Rodgers, who is unvaccinated, has long made waves for citing conspiracy theories regarding the safety of Covid vaccines and doubting the validity of scientific evidence on the effects and causes of coronaviruses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has consistently found there is no evidence of a link between the vaccines and problems such as a fatal cardiac arrest in young people and says the risks of adverse effects, while not zero, are rare.

Also in the Carlson interview, Rodgers said the death of Pat Tillman — the NFL star who left to join the army after 9/11 and was killed in action in Afghanistan 20 years ago — was “suspicious” and accused the U.S. government of using the death to “prop up war propaganda.”

In March, Rodgers spoke out to deny a CNN report that he had cast doubt on the official version of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, which killed 20 children and six adults.

Rodgers was once touted as a possible running mate for independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and said during the interview that he considered taking the position.

On X, Kennedy said in response to Carlson's interview with Rodgers: "Grateful to this man for his courage, integrity and the relentless brand of critical thinking that makes democracy work."

Rodgers also revealed that every off-season he fasts for five days and said that he felt so good the last time, he considered extending it to 10 days.

The football star was engaged in a monthslong public feud over the efficacy of the Covid vaccine with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel last year and into January.