Fox Host's Jan. 6 Text to Meadows: 'This Is Hurting All of Us'

Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade all frantically messaged Trump's then-chief of staff
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2021 6:23 AM CST
Big Names at Fox News Sent Meadows Texts on Jan. 6
In this March 4, 2016, file photo, Sean Hannity of Fox News arrives in National Harbor, Md.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

On Monday evening, a House panel probing what happened during the Capitol riot voted unanimously to recommend Mark Meadows, the chief of staff for former President Trump, be held in contempt of Congress. Among the evidence read aloud before the vote were a series of text messages sent to Meadows on Jan. 6, as the attack was unfolding—and among those texts were ones sent by three big names at Fox News, pleading with Meadows to get Trump to put a stop to the violence, reports the New York Times. "Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home," Laura Ingraham, host of the prime-time The Ingraham Angle, wrote to Meadows on Jan. 6, according to a message read aloud by GOP Rep. Liz Cheney. "This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy."

"Please, get him on TV," Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade texted Meadows. "Destroying everything you have accomplished." And Sean Hannity, host of his own Fox show that airs right before Ingraham's, wrote: "Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol." Both the Times and the Washington Post note that later on Jan. 6, all three hosts downplayed the riot on Fox, with Ingraham floating the false theory that members of antifa were involved, Hannity noting that most of those at the Capitol on Jan. 6 "were peaceful," and Kilmeade adding, "I do not know Trump supporters that have ever demonstrated violence that I know of in a big situation."

Donald Trump Jr. also apparently tried to reach his father via Meadows, per texts read aloud by Cheney. "He's got to condemn this s--- ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough," Trump Jr. wrote to Meadows, per CNN. Meadows' reply: "I'm pushing it hard. I agree." Trump Jr. reportedly continued to text Meadows in vain, finally messaging, "We need an Oval office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand."

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Meanwhile, per Politico, several unidentified lawmakers texted Meadows as well, before, during, and after the riot. "On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all," one wrote. On the day of the attack, an unnamed lawmaker texted Meadows, "The president needs to stop this ASAP." And on Jan. 7, one wrote to Meadows, "Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objection to the 6 states. I'm sorry nothing worked." (More Mark Meadows stories.)

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