McCarthy defends sharing US Capitol riot footage with Tucker Carlson
US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has defended his decision to share more than 40,000 hours of security camera footage from the January 6, 2021 riots with Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Carlson aired some of the clips on his show ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,’ claiming the people who broke into the US Capitol in Washington, DC, were mostly “peaceful and orderly.”
Carlson’s portrayal of the events has since been criticized by high-profile Democrats and Republicans.
“I said at the very beginning, transparency. And so what I wanted to produce for everybody is exactly what I said. The people could actually look at it and see what’s gone on that day,” McCarthy told a group of reporters on Tuesday.
The speaker argued that “the fairest way” was to make all the footage publicly available “so January 6 never happens again.”
Carlson, who aired the previously unreleased clips on Monday, insisted that the footage “demolishes” claims that “January 6 was an insurrection.” He argued that most people who entered the Capitol that day did not engage in violence or vandalism.
The videos appear to show that several Capitol police officers did not try to stop Jacob Chansley, a self-described QAnon Shaman, when he was walking down the hallways. Chansley, who eventually became one of the ‘faces’ of the riot, was later sentenced to 41 months in prison for his actions.
US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said Carlson’s show was “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions,” according to an internal department memo cited by CNN. Manger said officers used “de-escalation tactics to try to talk rioters into getting each other to leave the building.”
Trump, who the Democrats have accused of instigating the riot, wrote on social media that the new footage “sheds an entirely different light on what actually happened.” He further argued that the House Select Committee that investigated the storming of the Capitol was “a giant scam.”