House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told reporters Tuesday evening he does not regret giving Fox News’ Tucker Carlson exclusive access to more than 40,000 hours of Jan. 6 security footage, despite an onslaught of criticism of the Fox News segment from his GOP colleagues.
“Do you regret giving him this footage so he could whitewash the events of that day?” CNN’s Manu Raju asked McCarthy during a Tuesday night gaggle.
“No,” McCarthy responded. “I said at the very beginning: transparency. And so what I wanted to produce for everybody is exactly what I said. That people can actually look at it and see what’s gone on that day.”
This comes as Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger and several Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), criticized Carlson’s Monday night Jan. 6 segment, in which he characterized the deadly Capitol riot as a “mostly peaceful chaos” and falsely claimed that the attack was nothing more than peaceful “sightseers” touring the Capitol building with police escorts.
Manger said Carlson and his team “cherry-picked” from the thousands of hours of security footage to create an “offensive” and “misleading” conclusion about the attack.
“I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief and the Capitol Police about what happened on January 6,” McConnell said, referring to Manger’s comments. “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 at the Capitol thinks.”
When asked about the push-back Carlson’s commentary received from Senate Republicans, McCarthy refused to comment, saying everyone “can come up with their own conclusions.”
“Each person can come up with their own conclusion but what I just wanted to make sure is I have transparency,” McCarthy told reporters.
Carlson also seemed unfazed by the Republican backlash Tuesday night. On his show he claimed that lawmakers who spoke out publicly against his false narrative “outed themselves” as not real Republicans.
“They kind of outed themselves. They sort of showed their membership cards of whatever club this is to the public. So keep a list. If you want to know who’s actually aligned, despite the illusion of partisanship, we found out today,” Carlson said.
“They’re all on the same side. So it’s actually not about left and right. It’s not about Republicans and Democrats,” Carlson added.
Correction: This post originally misattributed this quote: “Each person can come up with their own conclusion but what I just wanted to make sure is I have transparency.” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that, not Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.