There’s more than just diplomatic work being done in Moscow. NBC News chairman Andy Lack is on the ground in Russia trying to score one of the most coveted interviews in the world.
Lack has been in Russia this week trying to land a sit-down interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin for his network, according to a report from the New York Post’s Page Six. If he succeeds, Lack will have secured the “biggest get on the planet.”
The question, though, is who will get to conduct the big interview? Will it go to NBC’s newest broadcaster, Megyn Kelly, “Today” host Matt Lauer, or “Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt?
One NBC source told Page Six that Lack has been trying to arrange a meeting with Putin spokesman Dmitry Perkov. While the possible interview hasn’t yet been guaranteed to Kelly, it would certainly begin her tenure at NBC with a splash.
“It is not clear who would do the Putin interview. News chiefs decide based on who would be best for the job. This isn’t Megyn’s interview — yet,” the source told the Post.
The possibility of an interview with the Russian strongman comes as the FBI and Congress are conducting investigations into whether or not the Kremlin interfered in the U.S. presidential election and if there was any collaboration between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.
In addition, the White House has put Russia in the hot seat for its continued support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who the Trump administration blames for a recent Sarin gas attack in the country that killed dozens, including at least 28 children.
The U.S. military launched more than 50 tomahawk missiles toward Syria late last week, targeting the airbase from which Assad is believed to have launched a chemical attack on civilians. Russia, for its part, argued the attack broke international law and has denied Assad’s role in the use of chemical weapons.
In an interview with Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo that aired Wednesday, Trump slammed Putin “for backing a person that’s truly an evil person.”
“I think it’s very bad for Russia, I think it’s very bad for mankind, it’s very bad for this world,” he said, later adding, “If Russia didn’t go in and back this animal [Assad], you wouldn’t have a problem right now.”
President Trump: Putin's support of "animal" Assad is "bad for mankind" pic.twitter.com/iFxsxxvRym
— Tré Goins-Phillips (@tregp) April 12, 2017
As for Kelly, the broadcaster was just released from her Fox News contract last week and is expected to launch her NBC daytime show — either at 9 or 10 a.m. — sometime this fall. Her Sunday night newsmagazine program, though, could begin as soon as this summer.