New York (CNN) The White House on Wednesday lashed out at Fox News host Tucker Carlson for an unusual accusation of a late-night commentator airing a false portrayal of the Jan. 6, 2021 attacks.
Carlson was given access to nearly 40,000 hours of US Capitol security camera footage by Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and was carefully selected to portray the pro-Trump mob as peaceful patriots. aired the clip. Carlson falsely claimed that the footage provided “conclusive” evidence that the Democrats and the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6 lied to Americans about the day’s events.
According to the Justice Department, 140 police officers were assaulted in the Capitol that day, including 60 Metropolitan Police Department officers and 80 Capitol officers.
The Fox News host was lashed out this week by Capitol Police, Democrats and some Republicans.
“We agree with the Capitol Police Commissioner and a wide range of bipartisan lawmakers who condemned the false portrayal of an unprecedented and violent attack on the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law that took the life of a police officer,” Bates said. “I also agree with Fox News’ own attorneys and executives who have repeatedly stressed in multiple courts that Tucker Carlson cannot be trusted.”
A Fox News attorney who successfully defended Carlson in a 2020 defamation lawsuit alleges he repeatedly engaged in rhetorical exaggeration and opinion.
In a daily press conference with reporters on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre called Jan. 6, 2021, “a very dark day and an attack on democracy.”
“When you see a police officer in the Capitol lose his life or a police officer loses his life, it’s just a shame to say what he said,” Jean-Pierre said.
Carlson claimed to have had the footage reviewed by Capitol Police before it aired, but multiple Capitol Hill sources told CNN that Carlson’s show only provided one clip to review, while the others were Capitol Police continue to warn that the release of all security footage from the Capitol could pose a potential security risk to the building.
Capitol Police Chief Tom Munger said on Tuesday that Carlson chose a favorable clip to mislead viewers about the attack. The manager called Carlson’s portrayal of the event “offensive”.
“The program is conveniently handpicked from the calm moments of 41,000 hours of video,” the manager wrote in an internal department memo obtained by CNN. I am unable to provide context for the chaos and violence that ensued.
The manager added that Carlson’s show did not contact the police “to provide the exact circumstances.”
Carlson was the subject of several disastrous documents released as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox, which indicated he held opposing views about what Carlson told the audience. It looked like Documents filed with the court in the defamation lawsuit included a series of personal text messages in which Carlson said he “passionately” hated former President Donald Trump.
In a November 2020 exchange, Carlson said he was “disgusted” by Trump’s post-election behavior. “We’re so close to ignoring Trump most nights. I really can’t wait.”
CNN’s MJ Lee contributed to this report.