Capitol police chief unloads on Tucker Carlson for airing ‘cherry-picked’ Jan 6 raw footage, says it needs context

Summarily bursting a bubble that had been dutifully protected for over two years was certain to ruffle some feathers and, right on cue, Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s airing of unseen Jan. 6 footage triggered responses for its implications, including from the U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger.

On Monday’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Carlson presented clips from the over 40,000 hours of footage that the sham committee had reviewed and selectively edited to maintain the narrative that the breach of the Capitol was a violent insurrection. As previously reported, the videos showed how the “QAnon Shaman” was evidently aided by police in reaching the Senate floor, officer Brian Sicknick was well after the interactions that were claimed to have been the cause of his death, and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) did not run out alone like a coward, but instead had been following an entire group of lawmakers being ushered out of the building.

“They are liars,” Carlson said. “That is conclusive.”

Preempting the host’s second night of coverage related to the footage, Manger issued an internal email to his officers Tuesday worthy of inclusion in George Orwell’s “1984,” reported by Politico’s Kyle Cheney, as he told the ranks what they were supposed to glean from the unedited clips and the “commentary that was filled with offensive and misleading conclusions about the January 6 attack.”

“One false allegation is that our officers helped the rioters and acted as ‘tour guides.’ This is outrageous and false. The Department stands by the officers in the video that was shown last night,” Manger, who hadn’t joined the USCP until his appointment to chief in July 2021 wrote. “I don’t have to remind you how outnumbered our officers were on January 6. Those officers did their best to use de-escalation tactics to try to talk to rioters into getting each other to leave the building.”

“The program conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video. The commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments,” he alleged after contending, “The opinion program never reached out to the Department to provide accurate context.”

Both points appeared to be a he-said-he-said as Carlson stated during his Monday broadcast, “But we do take security seriously. So, before airing any of this video, we checked first with the Capitol Police. We’re happy to say their reservations were minor and for the most part, they were reasonable. In the end, the only change that we made was in blurring the details of a single interior door in the Capitol building. You’re unlikely even to notice it when we show you, and we are confident it does not affect our reporting.”

Of course, the supposed issue of cherry-picking would be non-existent if the Jan. 6 committee hadn’t withheld the thousands of hours for 26 months and, instead, let the American people see all that unfolded within the halls of the Capitol where their public servants work for them.

“Finally, the most disturbing accusation from last night was that our late friend and colleague Brian Sicknick’s death had nothing to do with his heroic actions on January 6,” Manger continued, zeroing in on what is perhaps the one claim from that day that is wholly unfalsifiable. “The Department maintains, as anyone with common sense would, that had Officer Sicknick not fought valiantly for hours on the day he was violently assaulted, Officer Sicknick would not have died the next day.”

The medical examiner had determined Sicknick had died after suffering two strokes in the wake of the Capitol breach, but no specific interaction that day could be directly attributed to the cause. That didn’t stop Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) from waving around Manger’s letter as gospel Tuesday as he too voiced his displeasure alongside the left, with Carlson casting light in the darkest places of the swamp.

Manger closed by speaking directly to his officers and wrote, “As some people select from 41,000 hours of video clips that seemingly support the narrative they want to push, those of you who were here on January 6, those of you who were in the fight, those of you who ensured that no Member of Congress was hurt, [those] of you who contributed to the effort to allow the country’s Legislative process to continue know firsthand what actually happened.”

“You fought like hell on January 6 and risked your lives to protect the Constitution and everything this country stands for. You, along with our law enforcement partners, saved every Member of Congress and their staff. TV commentary will not record the truth for our history books. The justice system will. The truth and justice are on our side,” he concluded.


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Kevin Haggerty


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