The White House issued a rebuke of Tucker Carlson’s January 6 video footage on Wednesday, suggesting it was a “false depiction” and adding it was roundly condemned by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and the Capitol Police chief.
On Monday and Tuesday, Carlson aired video footage revealing Capitol Police escorting Shaman Jacob Chansley inside the Capitol. In addition, Carlson argued the footage showed that Democrats knew Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick had not been murdered during the riot but misled the public about his death, and that Ray Epps lied to the committee about when he left Capitol grounds.
Carlson’s arguments spawned outrage among the Washington, DC, establishment and members of Congress, who pointed towards Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger’s Tuesday condemnation of the video footage paid for by taxpayers but previously undisclosed by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the January 6 committee.
Manger said the footage was “offensive” and would lead to “misleading conclusions,” while making no mention of the January 6 Committee’s tactic of selectively releasing edited footage for nearly two years during the hearings.
“We agree with the chief of the Capitol Police and the wide range of bipartisan lawmakers who have condemned this false depiction of the unprecedented, violent attack on our Constitution and the rule of law — which cost police officers their lives,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told Politico. “We also agree with what Fox News’s own attorneys and executives have now repeatedly stressed in multiple courts of law: that Tucker Carlson is not credible.”
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has also tried to undermine Carlson by citing Fox News lawyers who alleged Carlson is not credible. Jean-Pierre has refused to disclose the full context of the suit.
.@PressSec @KJP46 tries to undermine @TuckerCarlson by citing @FoxNews lawyers who told courts that he is not credible. She omits that the context is a defamation suit. @MSNBC lawyers have argued the same thing in such cases about their hosts. She cannot handle the video evidence
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) March 8, 2023
The White House’s statement joins many establishment lawmakers’ stated opposition to airing the footage for public view. McConnell claimed releasing the footage was a “mistake.” Schumer demanded Fox News censor Carlson from airing the videos given to him by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
“I and so many others who were here are just furious with Tucker Carlson. With disregard of the risks and knowing full well he was lying, lying to his audience, Fox News host Tucker Carlson ran a lengthy segment last night, arguing the January 6 Capitol attack was not a violent insurrection,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.
Carlson responded to McConnell and Schumer’s comments Tuesday evening by highlighting their alignment on the issue. “If you want to know who’s actually aligned, despite the illusion of partisanship, we found out today,” Carlson pushed back. “They’re all on the same side. So, it’s actually not about left and right. It’s not about Republican and Democrat. Here you have people with shared interests.”
🚨BREAKING: Never before seen video of January 6 shows Jacob Chansley, the QAnon Shaman, being led through the Capitol by police the entire time that he was in the building. pic.twitter.com/rikoRMWezF
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 7, 2023
The disclosure of the footage appears to have aroused some interest in conducting additional hearings on the January 6 riot, though it is unclear if Republican House leadership supports the idea. “If @HouseGOP wants new Jan 6 hearings, bring it on,” former January 6 Committee member Liz Cheney quipped Wednesday.
Cheney lost her reelection in the 2022 Wyoming GOP primary after aiding Democrats on the partisan committee and is now a professor at the University 0f Virginia.
“Let’s replay every witness & all the evidence from last year,” Cheney said. “But this time, those members who sought pardons and/or hid from subpoenas should sit on the dais so they can be confronted on live TV with the unassailable evidence.”
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.
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