New York (CNN) The White House on Wednesday blamed Fox News host Tucker Carlson for making false statements about the January 6, 2021 attack this week.
With access to nearly 40,000 hours of U.S. Capitol security camera footage by Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Carlson presented carefully selected clips to portray Trump-supporting peaceful patriots. Carlson falsely claimed that the tapes provided “conclusive” evidence that House Democrats and members of the House who investigated the January 6th lied to the American people about the events of that day.
According to the Justice Department, 140 officers were assaulted at the Capitol that day, including 60 Metropolitan Police officers and 80 US Capitol Police officers.
The Fox News host was questioned this week by Capitol Police, Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans. White House spokesman Andrew Bates added to the condemnation on Wednesday.
“We stand with the Capitol Police Chief and various bipartisan lawmakers in condemning this unprecedented perversion of our constitution, the rule of law — and the loss of police officers’ lives,” Bates said. “We also agree with what Fox News’ own lawyers and executives have repeatedly argued in several courts of law: that Tucker Carlson is not credible.”
While successfully defending Carlson in a defamation suit in 2020, Fox News’ lawyers argued that he repeatedly engaged in rhetorical obfuscation and commentary.
During her daily news conference with reporters on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre called January 6, 2021, “a very dark day and an attack on our democracy.”
“To say what he said, it’s just a shame when we see Capitol Policemen lose their lives or police officers lose their lives,” Jean-Pierre said.
While Carlson said he reviewed the footage with Capitol Police before releasing it, multiple sources on Capitol Hill told CNN that Carlson’s show only reviewed one clip, not the others. Capitol Police have repeatedly warned that releasing all security footage from the Capitol could pose a security threat to the building.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said Tuesday that Carlson chose appropriate clips to mislead his audience about the shooting. Manger called Carlson’s depiction of events “abhorrent.”
“The program is carefully selected from our 41,000 hours of video,” Manger wrote in an internal memo obtained by CNN. “The comment fails to provide context around the violence and violence that preceded or occurred during these tense moments.”
Manger added that Carlson’s show did not reach the police department to “provide the proper context.”
A series of incriminating documents released as part of Carlson’s $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox by Dominion Voting Systems showed that Carlson contained views contrary to what he was telling his listeners. Documents filed in court in the defamation lawsuit include a series of private text messages in which Carlson says he hates former President Donald Trump “with a passion.”
In a November 2020 exchange, Carlson called Trump’s post-election behavior “disgusting.” And two days before the Jan. 6 attack, Carlson said in another text message conversation, “We’re so close to ignoring Trump most nights. I really can’t wait.” He added, “I hate him with love.”
CNN’s MJ Lee contributed to this report.