Fox News host Tucker Carlson is arguing that Republicans who oppose his reframing of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol are “on the same side” as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
During a speech from the Senate floor on Tuesday, Schumer blasted Carlson for airing a selection of previously unseen surveillance footage from January 6 and claiming that rioters who breached the Capitol were mere “sightseers” who had taken part in a “peaceful” event.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was one of a number of high-profile Republicans who denounced Carlson’s narrative. GOP Senators John Thune, Mitt Romney, Kevin Cramer, Thom Tillis, Mike Rounds and Chuck Grassley also pushed back against Carlson’s claims.
Carlson aired a very small amount of additional unseen footage from January 6 and attacked his critics during his broadcast on Tuesday. The Fox News host argued that those who disagreed with his narrative had decided to “degrade themselves” with “obviously lies” and were “calling for censorship.” He urged viewers to “keep a list” of lawmakers who did not agree with him.
“Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, was joined in this outrage by the Senate minority leader, and that would be a Republican—Mitch McConnell,” said Carlson. “And they were joined by a cascade of other Republicans—Thom Tillis from North Carolina, Mitt Romney from Utah—all sharing the same outrage.”
“They’re on the same side,” he continued. “The people who, underneath it all, have everything in common are all aligned against everyone else … It might be kind of interesting to keep a list. Because one thing we learned today is that they’re all in agreement with each other, they kind of outed each other … So, keep a list.”
Schumer called the Monday night edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight “one of the most shameful hours we have ever seen on cable television” during his Senate speech, adding that he had never “seen a primetime cable news anchor manipulate his viewers the way Mr. Carlson did last night.”
The Democratic leader later tweeted that he had been invited to appear on Carlson’s show but would refuse to do so until “Carlson admits to his viewers live on air that he has been lying to them about the 2020 elections and about what happened on January 6th.”
I was invited on Tucker Carlson’s show.
I will agree to go on after Tucker Carlson admits to his viewers live on air that he has been lying to them about the 2020 elections and about what happened on January 6th.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 8, 2023
McConnell said his position on Carlson’s presentation of January 6 footage echoes the stance of U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger, who called Carlson “outrageous” for airing footage “conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments” of the riot to reach “offensive and misleading conclusions.”
Some of the other Republicans who opposed Carlson’s narrative were even less charitable. Tillis reportedly called the presentation “bulls***,” while Cramer said that Carlson’s framing of the riot as a “peaceful protest” was “just a lie.”
Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump and many of his allies celebrated Carlson’s footage, arguing it was evidence that a riot did not occur, despite other footage showing violence.
Trump repeatedly thanked Carlson for airing the footage and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for giving it to him, while demanding the release of those imprisoned for crimes related to the January 6 siege on the Capitol.
The former president continued to praise the pundit on Tuesday, apparently ignoring a court filing that revealed Carlson had privately said he “passionately” hated Trump, days before the riot took place.
Newsweek has reached out to the offices of McConnell and Schumer for comment.
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