The Jan. 6 Committee on Wednesday revealed another text from a Fox News host to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, sent in the wake of the deadly Capitol insurrection last year.
In this case, the sender was Laura Ingraham. The text in question appeared in the committee’s request for voluntary cooperation from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
“Remarks on camera discouraging protest at state capit[o]ls esp with weapons will be well advised given how hot the situation is,” Ingraham texted Meadows on Jan. 12, 2021, according to the committee. “[E]veryone needs to calm down and pray for our country and for those who lost their lives last week.”
In its letter to McCarthy Wednesday, the committee wrote that it is investigating the potential for continued violence provoked by former President Trump’s election fraud falsehoods in the days following the insurrection, and that it is aware of communications among White House staff and Trump’s supporters expressing their concern about that possibility.
As an example, the committee pointed to Ingraham, who, it revealed, texted Meadows advising the White House to discourage protests at state capitols.
The committee then noted that McCarthy himself shared similar concerns about Trump’s bogus claims of a stolen election to a local news organization during the same time period — before he ultimately backtracked on his initial condemnation of Trump.
“It’s raising the ability for greater violence and we’ve got to stop that and come together as one nation,” McCarthy told a Bakersfield, California news outlet days after the insurrection.
Ingraham and McCarthy voiced their concerns during a period that was fraught with tension. The FBI, for example, was warning of armed protests and attempts to seize state capitols across the country. These protests, the law enforcement agency said in a bulletin, might occur “at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January.” The bulletin also suggested that at least one unidentified group was calling for a repeat of the Jan. 6 insurrection on the day of Biden’s inauguration. Fliers and posts on far-right websites agitating for an “armed march on Capitol Hill and all state capitols” were openly circulating at the time.
The committee has already disclosed other, frantic texts from Ingraham as well as fellow Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade on the day of and in the days following the insurrection. The hosts pleaded with Meadows, urging him to find a way to convince Trump to call off the mob of his supporters as they were ransacking the Capitol.