It's Official: Megyn Kelly to Interview Vladimir Putin for NBC Series Premiere
The former Fox News host, who joined NBC's broadcast news division earlier this year, had hoped to land an interview with the Russian leader.
It's official: Megyn Kelly will interview Vladimir Putin one-on-one for the first episode of her Sunday night NBC series.
Kelly herself made the announcement on NBC's Today Thursday morning, reporting live from Russia.
Kelly is moderating the plenary session of an economic forum in St. Petersburg on Friday (June 2), where Putin will be one of the panelists, and her team had hoped to land a one-on-one interview with the Russian president.
On Thursday, Kelly announced that Putin had agreed to sit down with her at the end of the forum. The interview will air on the debut episode of her new newsmagazine show, Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly, which premieres on June 4 at 7 p.m. ET.
Kelly, who signed a multiplatform deal with NBC in January, leaving Fox News, will also host the 9 a.m. hour of Today, starting in September. Her appearance on Thursday's edition of the NBC morning show was her first since she started working for the network last month, which hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie acknowledged in their introduction.
In her report, Kelly said the panel marked the first time Putin will take questions from an American journalist since a special counsel was appointed in the U.S. to look into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election. In her interview, Kelly indicated she'll ask the Russian president about possible meddling and the prospect of the U.S. and Russian working together.
Even before the interview was locked down a segment on Putin was expected to be a major part of the one-hour premiere, executive producer David Corvo told The Hollywood Reporter, with other segments devoted to interviews with Erin Andrews and author J.D. Vance.
Speaking with THR, Kelly was quick to deny the media rumors that she's angling for a spot on the 7-9 a.m. block of Today.
"I've had my own scrutiny in the press, but this is a weird new kind," Kelly said. "We all know the truth," she continues. "Savannah and Matt and I text each other and continue to — as these articles come out — and laugh. Savannah said to me early on, 'Welcome to the NFL. You've got to let it go.' And they're experts at it."
The news comes as Putin insisted, in a meeting with editors from international news agencies, that the Russian state has never engaged in hacking and dismissed allegations that hackers could influence the outcome of elections in the U.S. or Europe, the Associated Press reported.
Putin also indicated the U.S. focus on the possibility of Russian meddling in the 2016 election has made it "somewhat inconvenient [for the two countries] to work with one another or even to talk."
"It's having an impact, and I'm afraid this is one of the goals of those who organize it are pursuing and they can fine-tune the public sentiments to their liking trying to establish an atmosphere that is going to prevent us from addressing common issues, say with regard to terrorism," Putin said, according to the AP.
Still, Putin said he was encouraged by Trump's offer to improve relations, AP reports.
June 1, 7:30 a.m. This story has been updated with Putin dismissing allegations that Russian hackers could influence U.S. elections.