McConnell, GOP senators blast Tucker’s expose on unseen Jan. 6 footage: ‘It’s bulls**t … I was there’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republican senators sided with Never-Trumpers, Democrats, and the House Select Committee on Tuesday in bashing Fox News host Tucker Carlson over his expose on unseen Jan. 6 footage showing a totally different take on the protest.

(Video Credit: C-SPAN)

McConnell brandished an email from US Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger in response to Carlson’s show on the Jan. 6 footage in front of reporters.

He proclaimed that “with regard to the presentation on Fox News last night, I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of the Capitol Police about what happened on January 6th.”

The email excoriated Carlson concerning his depiction of the more than 40,000 hours of January 6th Capitol surveillance footage that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) turned over to him exclusively.

Footage showed the “QAnon Shaman” walking calmly around the inside of the Capitol with the assistance of multiple police officers. It showed others acting as if they were on a sightseeing tour, taking selfies and chatting with police as well. Carlson admitted there were those that committed crimes by vandalism and incitement, but he pointed out that the overwhelming majority of the thousands of protesters there that day wanted to peacefully make a statement. Many of them wound up in jail over it and had their lives turned upside down and ruined.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

Manger railed against Carlson’s depiction of events that day, claiming it was filled with “offensive and misleading conclusions,” adding that “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.”

McConnell and a number of Republican senators publicly declared their support for the statements made by the Capitol Police and denounced Carlson’s revelations.

Reporters asked the Senate Minority Leader if it was “a mistake” for McCarthy to give the footage to Carlson.

“My concern is how it was depicted, which is a different issue,” McConnell told them. “Clearly, the chief of the Capitol Police, in my view, correctly described what most of us witnessed firsthand on January 6th… 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.”

“To somehow put that in the same category as a permitted peaceful protest is just a lie,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) told CNN’s Manu Raju.

“The best thing to do is to give it to every source at the same time and let everybody go through it and play it in its entirety. … and then avoid the political opinions versus just looking at the facts,” Cramer told reporters regarding the release of the video footage.

“I think it’s bullsh*t,” Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) told reporters.

“I was here. I was down there and I saw maybe a few tourists, a few people who got caught up in things. But when you see police barricades breached, when you see police officers assaulted, all of that … if you were just a tourist you should’ve probably lined up at the visitors’ center and came in on an orderly basis,” he asserted.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) remarked to Raju, “I was here. It was not peaceful. It was an abomination. You’re entitled to believe what you want in America, but you can’t resort to violence to try to convince others of your point of view.”

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) also commented, “I thought it was an insurrection at that time. I still think it was an insurrection today.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said, “The point is, what happened that day shouldn’t have happened.”

Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) bluntly charged, “I think it was an attack on the Capitol. … There were a lot of people in the Capitol at the time that were scared for their lives.”

Utah Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) heatedly went after Carlson as well.

“The American people saw what happened on Jan. 6. They’ve seen the people that got injured, they saw the damage to the building. You can’t hide the truth by selectively picking a few minutes out of tapes and saying this is what went on. It’s so absurd. It’s nonsense,” he said.

“It’s a very dangerous thing to do, to suggest that attacking the Capitol of the United States is in any way acceptable and it’s anything other than a serious crime, against democracy and against our country,” Romney stated. “And people saw that it was violent and destructive and should never happen again. But trying to normalize that behavior is dangerous and disgusting.”

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