White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condemned Fox News’s Tucker Carlson on Wednesday for his portrayal of the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack on his prime time show, describing him as “not credible.”
Carlson’s report on footage he had exclusively received from Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-California) was laden with misinformation. Carlson cherry-picked footage from that day to suggest that the mob of loyalists to former President Donald Trump was peaceful, and that previous reports on the attack were inaccurate.
The Trump loyalists who breached the building that day were more like vacation “sightseers” than “insurrectionists,” Carlson claimed. “The footage does not show an insurrection or a riot in progress,” he added.
Additional footage from that day — which Carlson chose not to include in his report— suggests otherwise. Notably, 326 people involved in the attack have been charged with assault, 106 of whom were charged with assault with a dangerous or deadly weapon. Around 140 police officers were injured by members of the mob.
On Monday, Jean-Pierre told reporters that Americans shouldn’t trust Carlson’s brand of journalism.
Jean-Pierre referenced statements from Fox News’s own lawyers, which were used in court filings over recent years to defend the company from being held responsible for Carlson’s false reporting.
“As it relates to the Tucker Carlson question, we agree with Fox Nation’s own attorneys and executives who have repeatedly stressed in multiple courts of law that Tucker Carlson is not credible when it comes to this issue in particular,” Jean-Pierre said.
“What we saw on that day, on a very dark day” was “an attack on our democracy,” the White House press secretary went on.
We agree with the Chief of Capitol Police and the wide range of bipartisan lawmakers … who have condemned this false depiction of the unprecedented violent attack on our Constitution and the rule of law, which cost police officers their lives.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers condemned Carlson’s reporting on the attack this week.
“It was a mistake, in my view, [for] Fox News to depict this in a way completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official in the Capitol,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said in a statement.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) described Carlson’s report earlier this week as “one of the most shameful hours we have ever seen on cable television.”
“I and so many others who were here” when the attack happened “are just furious with Tucker Carson and Kevin McCarthy today,” Schumer added, referring to the decision by the Speaker of the House to release the footage exclusively to the Fox News personality, who has consistently lied to the public about the attack over the past two years.
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