Kevin McCarthy said he has no regrets giving Tucker Carlson footage of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, as he repeatedly evaded questions about what the Fox News host chose to broadcast.
The House speaker insisted while speaking to reports outside his office Tuesday that he had not yet seen what Carlson put on his show Monday night and therefore would not comment.
He also lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for criticizing Fox for airing the footage, saying it should also sue CNN for revealing lawmakers’ safe locations on the day of the Capitol riot.
“I didn’t see what was broadcast,” McCarthy said when asked if Carlson downplayed the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. “Exactly what I want to do is give everyone transparency and everyone can come to their own conclusion. ‘
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has no regrets giving 44,000 hours of footage from Jan. 6 to Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, who aired parts of the attack on his Monday show.
When a reporter explained that Carlson said the “rioters” were actually “mostly peaceful protesters,” McCarthy responded, “Well, that’s what you said.”
“I don’t know what Tucker Carlson said,” he added.
Earlier in the day, McConnell criticized the Fox News host, who aired some portions of 44,000 hours of riot footage that people, including Capitol Hill Police Chief Tom Manger, claimed they were “chosen” to downplay. the attack that day.
“In my opinion, it was a mistake for Fox News to portray this in a way that is completely different from what our top law enforcement official here on Capitol Hill thinks,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday.
When asked about McConnell’s comments, McCarthy deflected, stating that CNN should also come under fire for an article in which they revealed members’ safe locations during the riots.
“I hope McConnell was concerned about CNN,” McCarthy said, holding up a piece of paper with the CNN story on it.
McCarthy gave Carlson and his team exclusive access to the security tapes, which they later broadcast Monday night.
“They were neat and meek,” Carlson said of those who stormed the Capitol.
‘These were not insurgents; they were a tourist,’ he insisted.
McConnell opened his weekly news conference on Tuesday by saying he fully aligned with Manger, who called Carlson’s conclusions “offensive and misleading.”
He held up a paper copy of Manger’s statement, titled ‘Truth and Justice’, during his briefing.
Grassroots Republicans up to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell criticized Fox News host Tucker Carlson for downplaying the Jan. 6 attack after obtaining McCarthy’s footage.
Senator Thom Tillis called Carlson’s performance of the day “bulls***” and Senator Mitt Romney said that Carlson had “wanted off the rails”.
But repeatedly pressed by reporters, McConnell refused to criticize McCarthy for turning over the tapes to the conservative news network.
“Now, everyone knows I have a lot of faults, but one of them is not answering the question in a way that I don’t want to answer,” he joked, adding that his qualms were with Fox News’ description of the incident. .
However, Senator Josh Hawley rejected McConnell’s claim, tweeting in response: “Sunshine is always the right answer.” The Missouri Republican held out his fist toward the January 6 protesters before they stormed the building during President Biden’s election certification.
Sen. Thom Tillis, RN.C., called Carlson’s interpretation of events “inexcusable.”
“I think it’s nonsense,” he told reporters.
‘I was here. I was there and I saw maybe some tourists, some people who got caught up in things,” he added. “But when you see police barricades breached, when you see police assaulted, all of that… if you were just a tourist, you probably should have lined up at the visitor center and entered in an orderly fashion.”
Senator Mitt Romney directly criticized McCarthy for giving Fox exclusive access to the footage.
“If you’re going to give out footage, give it to all the networks, not just one,” the Utah Republican told reporters. ‘Laying down my party base is not the right path for the Republican Party or for the country.’
He lashed out at Carlson: “It’s really sad to see Tucker Carlson go off the rails…it’s so absurd.”
Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer, SD, said Carlson’s portrayal of the event as “a loud and peaceful Boy Scout protest” is “just a lie.”
“I think it doesn’t do the narrative any good,” he added.
Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Texas, told Politico: ‘I really have no problem going public. But if his message is to try to convince people that nothing bad happened, then he’ll make us look like fools.
‘It’s definitely stupid to keep talking about this. … So what’s the point of continuing to bring it up unless you’re trying to further feed Democratic narratives? she added.
Tucker Carlson posted footage Monday night from inside the Capitol on January 6, including clips showing ‘QAnon Shaman,’ Jacob Chansley (above), apparently being ‘escorted’ through the building.
In footage projected on Carlson’s show Monday night, so-called QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley was apparently seen being escorted into the Senate by Capitol Police officers.
Carlson suggested that he challenged the prevailing narrative that Chansley, jailed for four years for the incident, aggressively stormed the chamber.
Footage was also broadcast of Captiol police officer Brian Sicknick, who died shortly after the riot.
It was originally suggested that Sicknick’s death occurred as a result of being attacked with a fire extinguisher and pepper spray by rioters.
But a medical examiner later ruled that he had died of natural causes. And Carlson shared footage of Sicknick walking through the Capitol after the attack. Sicknick died the next day.
He also referenced Ray Epps, who was seen among the rioters urging them to storm the Capitol but was never charged, raising suspicions that Epps was, in fact, an informant. Epps has denied working for the government.
On Monday, Carlson suggested that Epps was lying.
‘Very little about January 6 was organized or violent.
“Surveillance video from inside the Capitol shows mostly peaceful chaos.”
Carlson pointed to images showing the ‘QAnon Shaman,’ a bare-chested Jacob Chansley wearing a Viking helmet, inside the Capitol.
Chansley, a 33-year-old Navy veteran from Arizona, was one of the highest-profile figures to enter the Capitol on January 6.
He has been jailed for almost four years for ‘obstructing an official proceeding’.
In the footage, Chansley appears to be guided by an official as he tours the Capitol.
He passes a line of riot police, who make no move to stop him.
He is then escorted to several chamber entrances that appear to be locked, eventually finding an open door through which he disappears.
“Virtually every moment of his time inside the Capitol was recorded,” Carlson said.
The tapes show that the Capitol police never arrested Jacob Chansley. They helped him. They acted as their tour guides.
Chansley is seen being followed through the Capitol by a police officer.
Carlson further suggested that the alleged Capitol Rioter Ray Epps, pictured wearing a red Trump cap, was actually an FBI agent sent to stoke the violence. Epps denies his claims
Carlson also showed the moments after Officer Brian Sicknick was confronted by the rioters.
Four officers died by suicide in the days and weeks after the riot.
There have also been approximately 1,000 arrests.
The footage comes as Fox News continues to contest a $1.6 billion lawsuit brought against the broadcasting giant by Dominion, which made the voting machines for the 2020 election.
Fox is being sued over claims the network endorsed theories that the company’s voting machines were rigged to achieve a Biden victory.
The station’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, recently spoke out about the lawsuit, saying he “wish it (Fox) had come out more forcefully” against the stolen election claims.
Fox News denies the claims made against it by Dominion.