Lawmakers, Capitol Police chief blast Fox News’ Tucker Carlson over Jan. 6 footage

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  • Democratic and Republican leaders of the US Senate, as well as other lawmakers and the White House, criticized Fox News and its host Tucker Carlson for airing footage of the deadly January 6 riot in a way that made it look like a peaceful march to the US Capitol. as depicted.
  • The chief of the US Capitol Police and the romantic partner of Capitol Police officer Brian Siknik, who died a day after being attacked along with other police by members of a Trump-supporting mob, also rebuked Carlson for his Monday broadcast. put.
  • The riot began on January 6, 2021, after weeks of false claims by former President Donald Trump that he, and not President Joe Biden, had won the 2020 election.

Senate Democratic and Republican leaders, other lawmakers and the White House criticized Fox News and its host on Tuesday tucker carlson To broadcast footage of the deadly January 6 uprising in such a way as to portray it as a peaceful march to the US Capitol.

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The chief of the US Capitol Police and the longtime girlfriend of Capitol Police Officer Brian Siknik, who died a day after he was attacked along with other police by members of a crowd of Trump supporters, joined Carlson for Monday evening’s broadcast. Also criticized.

in lewd comments, executive committee Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., rebuked House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for giving Carlson and Fox News exclusive access to 44,000 hours of Capitol security footage.

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The swift response came after Carlson aired the footage on Monday – more than two years after hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol grounds and vandalized the building’s entry points. They stormed the floor of the US House, disrupted a joint session of Congress and delayed the confirmation of Joe Biden as US President for hours.

Schumer said that Carlson used selected clips from the footage that McCarthy had given him to create a false narrative of the attack, depicting members of the mob as benign bystanders. senate floor.

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“Last night millions of Americans watched one of the most embarrassing hours of cable television ever,” Schumer said.

Schumer said, “Disregarding the risks and knowing full well that he was lying, lying to his audience, Fox News host Tucker Carlson ran a lengthy segment last night, arguing that The January 6 Capitol attack was not a violent insurrection.”

“I and so many others who were here” on January 6, 2021 “are furious with Tucker Carson and Kevin McCarthy today,” Schumer said.

Sen. Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, when asked by reporters about Carlson’s broadcast, said, “I think it’s bull…” and called it “inexcusable”.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. told reporters, “In my view, it was a mistake by Fox News to portray it in a way that is completely at odds with what our chief law enforcement officer here at the Capitol thinks.”

McConnell was referring to a letter by US Capitol Police Chief Thomas Munger to members of his force on Tuesday.

Manger wrote that Carlson’s remarks “cherry-picked videos … fail to provide context about the chaos and violence that occurred before or during these less tense moments,” according to NBC, which obtained the letter.

Sen. Kevin Cramer. RN.D. “I think it is a crime to break the glass windows and doors to get into the United States Capitol against police orders,” he told reporters.

Cramer noted that members of the crowd had entered the Senate chamber after lawmakers had fled to security and opened the senators’ desks.

“To somehow put this in the permitted category of peaceful protest is just a fallacy,” Cramer said.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that “anybody who saw that video [from the day of the attack] would strongly disagree with Carlson’s characterization of the event”.

“Anybody who saw that video with their own eyes in a real way and saw what happened that day would disagree,” Jean-Pierre told a press briefing. “It was one of the darkest days of our democracy and all you have to do is watch the video.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland declined to comment specifically about Carlson’s broadcast.

But Garland, speaking at a news conference, said, “I think all Americans saw what happened on January 6th, and most of us saw it as it was happening.

Garland said, “It was a violent assault on a fundamental principle of American democracy, that power be peacefully transferred from one administration to another.”

He said that more than 100 police officers were attacked that day, and four of those officers died by suicide months later, with the fifth, Siknik, dying the day after the attack after being sprayed with a chemical.

Garland said, “We charged over 1,000 people with their crimes that day and over 500 people have already been convicted.” “I think it’s pretty clear what happened on January 6th.”

In her remarks on the Senate floor, Schumer said that Carlson made a bold-face lie after “deep diving into conspiracy waters and taking security footage” that the Capitol attack that we all saw with our own eyes somehow did not happen. was an attack absolutely” by hundreds of Trump supporters.

“Carlson tried to argue that this was nothing more than peaceful sightseeing,” Schumer said. “You can imagine?”

“To say January 6 is not violent is a lie, it is a lie pure and simple,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a prime-time cable news anchor manipulate their audience the way Mr. Carlson did last night. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an anchor manipulate the American people and American democracy.” Seen behaving. Such disdain.”

Schumer addressed Carlson’s superiors directly from the floor, including Fox News boss Rupert Murdoch, urging him to order Carlson not to run a second segment based on the security footage that Fox plans to air Tuesday night. Used to be.

“The footage does not show any mutiny or riots in progress,” Carlson said during his broadcast on Monday.

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“Instead it shows police escorting people through the building, including the now infamous ‘qeon quenchingCarlson said.

They did not show graphic footage captured by security cameras throughout the building of rioters attacking police guarding the Capitol, storming the Senate chamber and congressional offices, including the office of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and many other acts of mayhem. Scene.

A Fox News spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

Schumer said that McCarthy is “every bit as guilty” of the broadcast as Carlson.

Schumer said, “Speaker McCarthy’s decision to share the security footage with Fox looked like a mistake from the start, but after last night, it looks like a disaster.” “Chairman McCarthy has played a treacherous, treacherous game that caters to the hard right.”

Carlson said in January that McCarthy, who was then struggling to win support for his election as speaker from far-right Republicans, could improve his chances by releasing “all” of the January 6 security footage. were, not just the earlier material revealed by the Select House Committee

When McCarthy followed through after becoming speaker, he allowed Fox News, and only Fox News, access to the footage.

He later defended the decision by saying that he was giving Fox News an “exclusive”, comparing it to exclusives received by other networks.

McCarthy said in late February, “So we have the special, then I’ll give it to the whole country.”

Schumer said that in giving the footage to Fox News, McCarthy had “enabled big lies and further eroded our precious democracy.”

“When people don’t believe that the election is at that stage that is the beginning of the end of this bold experiment in democracy that has been going on for more than 200 years,” Schumer said.

Schumer did not add that the attack on the Capitol came after weeks of false claims by Trump that he, and not Biden, had actually won the 2020 election.

Trump urged a crowd of supporters outside the White House on January 6 to march to the Capitol and fight against a joint session of Congress scheduled for that day to confirm Biden’s election.

In his letter to the force, Manger, the Capitol Police chief, called out Carlson for his comments about Sicknick, who died a day after a member of a crowd sprayed a chemical similar to bear spray.

Carlson showed footage of Sicknick being escorted out of the Capitol to people who had illegally entered the building.

“This tape overturns the most powerful and politically useful lie the Democrats told us about January 6th,” Carlson said Monday. “They lied about a police officer they claimed to respect. … If they were willing to do so, there was no limit to their dishonesty.”

In April 2021, Washington, D.C.’s chief medical examiner said Sicknick, who had collapsed in the Capitol a few hours after the riot, had suffered a stroke and died of natural causes. played a part in his condition.”

Manger wrote in his letter about Carlson, “The most troubling allegation from last night was that the death of our late friend and colleague Brian Sicknick had nothing to do with his heroic actions on January 6th.”

“The department says, as any person with common sense can attest, had Officer Siknik not fought valiantly for hours on the day the violent assault occurred, Officer Siknik would not have died the next day,” Chief wrote.

Sicknick’s partner Sandra Garza said in a statement to NBC, “I am appalled that this new footage was shown on Tucker Carlson’s show and that he is downplaying the significance of Brian’s death.”

“She is not a doctor or mental health professional and does not have the expertise to understand how a severe traumatic event can have such a significant impact on the body and mind,” Garza said. “For him to act as an expert is ridiculous.”

– CNBC Emma Kinery contributed to this article.

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