Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday released security video from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, using footage provided exclusively to him by Speaker Kevin McCarthy to portray the riot as a peaceful gathering.
Carlson acquired the tapes as part of a deal for McCarthy, R-Calif., to win the speaker’s gavel. When McCarthy was struggling to gather the votes to lead the House, Carlson used his program to list two “concessions” he could make to win over far-right Republicans.
“First, release the January 6 files. Not some of the January 6 files and video — all of it,” Carlson, the most-watched host on cable news, said after McCarthy faced three failed votes. “So that the rest of us can finally know what actually happened on January 6, 2021.”
In the two months since McCarthy won the gavel, he has granted both. Carlson announced in late February that McCarthy had given him exclusive access to 44,000 hours of security video from the deadly riot before he unveiled some clips of the video on his show Monday night.
Carlson focused Monday’s segment on promoting former President Donald Trump’s narrative by showing video of his supporters walking calmly around the U.S. Capitol. He asserted that other media accounts lied about the attack, proclaiming that while there were some bad apples, most of the rioters were peaceful and calling them “sightseers,” not “insurrectionists.”
“The footage does not show an insurrection or a riot in progress,” Carlson told his audience Monday. “Instead it shows police escorting people through the building, including the now-infamous ‘QAnon Shaman.’”
He continued: “More than 44,000 hours of surveillance footage from in and around the Capitol have been withheld from the public, and once you see the video, you’ll understand why. Taken as a whole, the video does not support the claim that Jan. 6 was an insurrection. In fact, it demolishes that claim.”
Video that Carlson didn’t air shows police and rioters engaged in hours of violent combat that resulted in injuries to hundreds of police officers. Two pipe bombs were also planted nearby but were not detonated.
Nearly 1,000 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol attack. About 140 officers were assaulted that day, and about 326 people have been charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers or employees, including 106 assaults that happened with deadly or dangerous weapons. About 60 people pleaded guilty to assaulting law enforcement.