Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate and a Republican, joined other Republicans in denouncing Tucker Carlson of Fox News for his most recent attempt to minimize the storming of the U.S. Capitol.
As McConnell addressed the media on Tuesday, he started by displaying the email that Thomas Manger, the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, sent to his coworkers in response to Carlson’s most recent program. “With reference to the presentation on Fox News last night, I want to align myself totally with the opinion of the chief of the Capitol Police about what transpired on January 6th,” he said, holding the email up to reporters.
The Manger email attacked Carlson for the narrative the Fox host attempted to fabricate using the more than 40,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage from the morning of January 6th that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) granted him exclusive access to (despite Carlson’s numerous conspiracies and attempts to downplay the incident). In order to largely characterize the mob as “sightseers” during his Monday show, Carlson minimized the violence against law enforcement, vandalism, and breaking of the law from the Capitol riot while asserting that they were “right” to believe Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
Accusing Carlson of drawing “offensive and false conclusions,” Manger added, “the program neatly cherry-picked from the calmer times of our 41,000 hours of tape. The commentary is silent on the mayhem and violence that occurred before or during these stressful intervals. Some of McConnell’s other Republican senators have also disagreed with Carlson’s account of what happened on January 6th, despite McConnell’s agreement with the letter.
As the press conference went on, reporters attempted to question McConnell on whether it was “a mistake” for McCarthy to give Carlson the video.
McConnell responded, “My worry is how it was portrayed, which is a different issue. “I believe that the Capitol Police Chief accurately stated what the majority of us saw on January 6… In my opinion, Fox News made a mistake by portraying this in a manner that is absolutely at odds with what our top law enforcement official in the Hill believes. When pressed by reporters, McConnell refused to say whether McCarthy’s choice was “a mistake.”