- The White House lit into Tucker Carlson after he made misleading claims about January 6.
- The response shows the nerve Carlson has struck with his selectively edited footage of the riot.
- “Tucker Carlson is not credible,” a White House spokesman said of the host.
The White House blasted Tucker Carlson on Wednesday after the Fox News host claimed that selectively edited January 6 footage showed that the Capitol riot was not as violent as believed and that Capitol Police officers acted as “tour guides” for rioters.
“We agree with the chief of the 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,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement to Politico.
Bates then went after Carlson by name, poking fun at how the network has portrayed Carlson in past lawsuits. In 2020, the network defended itself from a suit by arguing that an average viewer did not take the highest-rated cable host seriously.
“We also agree with what Fox News’s own attorneys and executives have now repeatedly stressed in multiple courts of law: that Tucker Carlson is not credible,” Bates said.
Outside of the White House, Carlson’s comments and use of footage his show exclusively obtained from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has set off a torrent of criticism in Washington.
“With regard to the presentation on Fox News last night, I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of Capitol Police about what happened on January 6,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday in response to Carlson’s show on Monday evening.
Carlson, who has repeatedly underplayed the January 6 attack, used the footage to argue that Jacob Chansley, better known as the QAnon Shaman, wandered the Capitol grounds during the riot with minimal pushback. According to CNN, federal prosecutors found that multiple officers asked Chansley and others to leave the building. The riot ended up delaying the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
At one point, Carlson said of the riot, “Very little about Jan. 6 was organized or violent. Surveillance video from inside the Capitol shows mostly peaceful chaos.”
The Fox News host also tried to cast doubt on Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick’s death by showing previously unreleased footage of what Carlson claimed was of Sicknick during the riot. Sicknick died a day after the attack. Capitol Police chief Thomas Manger wrote a blistering rebuttal to that claim and many of Carlson’s other misleading observations. Manger called Carlson’s claims about Sicknick “the most disturbing accusation.”
“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,” Manger wrote in an internal letter, a copy of which was previously obtained by Insider.
A representative for Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.