Last night, after Kevin McCarthy exclusively turned over thousands of hours of sensitive footage, Tucker Carlson whitewashed and lied about the deadly attack on our democracy on January 6. The move, which MAGA ringleaders Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz cheered on, undermines our democracy and continues the MAGA Republican Party’s full embrace of election deniers, including every 2024 Republican presidential hopeful.

In showing the exclusive footage, GOP propagandist Tucker Carlson tried to whitewash the January 6 attack and defend violent insurrectionists, furthering MAGA Republicans’ playbook of election denial. 

Tucker Carlson: “The footage does not show an insurrection or a riot in progress. Instead, it shows police escorting protesters through the building, including the now infamous ‘QAnon Shaman.’”

Tucker Carlson: “In retrospect, it is clear the 2020 election was a grave betrayal of American democracy given the facts that have since emerged about that election. No honest person can deny it.”

CNN: Tucker Carlson, with help from Kevin McCarthy, tries to sanitize the very real violence of the January 6 attack

Despite Carlson’s attempts to defend the rioters and use the footage to distort the truth, his blatant lies were quickly and easily refuted, including by those who were there during the insurrection. 

Ryan Reilly, NBC: “Tucker: ‘To this day, there is dispute over how Chansley got into the Capitol building.’ False. You can literally see QAnon Shaman entering in footage he aired moments earlier. He wasn’t snuck in some back door, he came in moments after the door was kicked in.”

Ginger Gibson. NBC: “I can’t believe this needs to be said, but just in case. I was in the Capitol on January 6 and I can tell you as someone who was there: It was not a peaceful gathering of sightseers. The police did not just want to let them in. That is not true.”

Jon Karl, ABC: “@TuckerCarlson – “Protesters queue up in neat little lines.  They give each other tours outside the Speaker’s office. They take cheerful selfies and they smile.’ Here’s what was actually going on inside the Speaker’s office:”

This decision to turn over sensitive footage of the attack on our Capitol to a propaganda network lies at the feet of Kevin McCarthy – catering to the extreme fringe of his caucus that delivered him the speakership. 

CNN: “One of McCarthy’s closest allies, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene – who also has downplayed the January 6 attack – backed his decision to give the footage to Carlson. She told CNN on Monday she played a role in McCarthy’s decision”

New York Times: “Mr. McCarthy, the newly elected Republican speaker, has been under intense pressure for weeks from his right flank to release the footage, which Mr. Carlson and other promoters of fringe theories allege is being hidden for nefarious reasons.”

New York Times: “Days after he won his gavel in a protracted fight with hard-right Republicans, Speaker Kevin McCarthy gushed to a friend about the ironclad bond he had developed with an unlikely ally in his battle for political survival, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.”

And it’s not just MAGA congressional Republicans, 2024 Republican presidential hopefuls have supported election deniers. This is today’s MAGA Republican Party.

Washington Post: GOP hopefuls stump for election deniers despite distancing from Trump lies

POLITICO: “If any subject is verboten in the early stages of the Republican presidential primary, it’s the insurrection that once served as a defining point in 2024 frontrunner Donald Trump’s career. Whereas Republicans once talked openly about it being disqualifying for the former president, today it is little more than a litmus test in GOP circles of a candidate’s MAGA bona fides.”

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