U.S. Senator Schumer condemns Speaker McCarthy for supplying Jan.6 videos to Fox
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday accused House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy of helping Fox News stoke conspiracy theories by providing videos that were used by the cable network to portray the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters as peaceful.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday accused House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy of helping Fox News stoke conspiracy theories by providing videos that were used by the cable network to portray the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters as peaceful. On Monday, Fox's right-wing commentator Tucker Carlson used some of the security videos, showing protesters walking through the Capitol, to argue that they were merely "sightseers."
He said only a small number of those who illegally entered the Capitol as Congress was attempting to formally certify President Joe Biden's 2020 electoral win were "hooligans," adding that: "The overwhelming majority weren't. They were peaceful, they were orderly and meek. These were not insurrectionists, they were sightseers." In a Senate speech, Schumer condemned the broadcast and urged the cable network to cancel any follow-up segment.
The Senate Democratic leader called Carlson's conduct "a dangerous, unforgivable attempt to destabilize our democracy and rewrite the history of the worst attack on our Constitution since the Civil War." He added that McCarthy was "every bit as culpable as Mr. Carlson" by providing Fox News with thousands of hours of videotape from the day of the attack and accused the broadcaster of using it to piece together a sanitized narrative of the events.
"To say January 6 was not violent, is a lie, a lie, pure and simple," Schumer said. McCarthy and his aides were not immediately available for comment. Nor was a Fox News spokesperson.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell declined to comment on McCarthy's decision to supply the videos. But he told reporters that he was in complete agreement with criticisms made by U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger. Those criticisms came in an internal memo Manger wrote, according to a source on Capitol Hill.
The source said the memo described Carlson's commentary as being "filled with offensive and misleading conclusions about the Jan. 6 attack." The Fox News report, Manger was quoted as saying, "cherry-picked from the calmer moments" of that day and failed to portray the "chaos and violence." "It was a mistake, in my view, for Fox News to depict this in a way that's completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here in the Capitol thinks," McConnell said.
In the broadcast, Carlson accused the House of Representatives select committee that has investigated the riot and the events leading up to it of lying and concealing videos that he said showed peaceful protesters. Carlson said the video record, which has been denied to other news organizations including Reuters, "demolishes" the claim that an insurrection was attempted by supporters of former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6.
Five people including a police officer died during or shortly after the riot and more than 140 police officers were injured. The Capitol building suffered millions of dollars in damage and then-Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress and staff ran for their lives amid the chaos. Earlier in the day of Jan. 6, Trump had delivered a fiery speech near the White House in which he urged his supporters to go to the Capitol to protest the November 2020 election outcome, claiming widespread voter fraud.
No such fraud has been documented and Trump, who is running for president in 2024, continues to falsely repeat the charge.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)