House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to hand over thousands of hours of unseen video from the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, to Fox News host Tucker Carlson has sparked criticism from seemingly panicked Democrats, but according to the California lawmaker, he’s just making good on a promise he made to the American people.
“I promised,” he told The New York Times during a brief phone interview on Wednesday. “I was asked in the press about these tapes, and I said they do belong to the American public. I think sunshine lets everybody make their own judgment.”
As BizPac Review reported, Twitter erupted on Monday after it was announced that McCarthy had granted Carlson access to 41,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage from Jan. 6.
McCarthy gives Tucker Carlson exclusive access of Jan. 6 tapes amid rumors of broken promises: report https://t.co/5MLAtJ8Q8t pic.twitter.com/4byYNP7usj
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 20, 2023
On his show, Carlson confirmed the arrangement.
“We believe that access is unfettered,” he told viewers. “We believe we have secured the right to see whatever we want to see. We’re going to spend the rest of this week taking a look at it, assessing it as honestly as we can, and we’re going to bring you what we find next week.”
Liberal heads promptly began popping like Chinese balloons.
“Kevin McCarthy turned over Jan 6 videos to right-wing propagandist Tucker Carlson,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) ranted on Twitter. “A man who spews Kremlin talking points. Suggests Jan 6 was a false flag. And spreads the Big Lie. Make no mistake: This isn’t about transparency, it’s about fueling dangerous conspiracy theories.”
Adam Schiff is furious that Kevin McCarthy gave all J6 footage to Tucker Carlson https://t.co/SLjsAFKfeY pic.twitter.com/qWac1z9gnR
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 21, 2023
Democratic House Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) called the move an “egregious security breach” in a letter he fired off to his House colleagues.
“I write with respect to public reports that extreme MAGA Republicans in the House have provided tens of thousands of hours of sensitive Capitol security footage to a FOX News personality who regularly peddles in conspiracy theories and Pro-Putin rhetoric,” Jeffries wrote. “At present, we are working to confirm the precise nature of the video transfer, particularly as it relates to the events connected to the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021.”
“The apparent transfer of video footage represents an egregious security breach that endangers the hardworking women and men of the United States Capitol Police, who valiantly defended our democracy with their lives at risk that fateful day,” he stated without any evidence whatsoever.
INBOX: Hakeem Jeffries letter on Kevin McCarthy providing security footage to Tucker Carlson
"At present, we are working to confirm the precise nature of the video transfer" pic.twitter.com/0iGFlmYy81
— Annie Grayer (@AnnieGrayerCNN) February 21, 2023
In a similar “Dear Colleague” letter, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) accused McCarthy of “needlessly exposing the Capitol complex to one of the worst security risks since 9/11.”
“The footage Speaker McCarthy is making available to Fox News is a treasure trove of closely held information about how the Capitol complex is protected and its public release would compromise the safety of the Legislative Branch and allow those who want to commit another attack to learn how Congress is safeguarded,” he argued.
Schumer is stunning in his hypocrisy, claiming McCarthy’s move was a “sham” devised to “pander” to conservatives.
“By handpicking Tucker Carlson, Speaker McCarthy laid bare that this sham is simply about pandering to MAGA election deniers, not the truth,” he wrote. “Tucker Carson has no fidelity to the truth or facts and has used his platform to promote the Big Lie, distort reality, and espouse bogus conspiracy theories about January 6.”
“If the past is any indication,” he continued, “Tucker Carlson will select only clips that he can use to twist the facts to sow doubt of what happened on January 5 and feed into the propaganda he’s already put on Fox News’ air.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) statement on Jan 6 video
“Giving someone as disingenuous as Tucker Carlson exclusive access to this type of sensitive
information is a grave mistake by Speaker McCarthy that will only embolden supporters of the Big Lie & weaken faith in our democracy" pic.twitter.com/tfk5zd92uO
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) February 22, 2023
Meanwhile, McCarthy is using the release of the tapes to do a little fundraising, Bloomberg government reporter Emily Wilkens reported.
“It is in the public interest to know everything that happened that day,” he told potential donors in an email, “not just the narrative that Pelosi’s partisan committee wanted you to see ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.”
“We made a Commitment to America — a commitment to YOU — when we asked for your vote last fall. A commitment to ALL of America requires truth and transparency over partisan games,” the speaker continued. “Now, we are delivering.”
McCarthy fundraising off of giving Tucker Carlson access to 1/6 Surveillance tapes pic.twitter.com/raptge3F5C
— Emily Wilkins (@emrwilkins) February 22, 2023
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