Tucker Carlson Granted Access to 41K Hours of Jan. 6 Footage

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gives Fox host exclusive access
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2023 6:10 PM CST
McCarthy Gives Carlson Access to Jan. 6 Footage
Rioters storm the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, in a move seen as highly unusual, has given Fox News host Tucker Carlson access to thousands of hours of footage from the Capitol attack. A Fox spokesperson confirmed to the Hill on Monday that Carlson and his team had been granted access to the footage. Sources earlier told Axios that Carlson had been given exclusive access to 41,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage, taken by cameras all over the Capitol grounds. Carlson has repeatedly downplayed the scale of the riot, in which more than 150 police officers were injured. Last year, he called it an "forgettably minor outbreak" of mob violence. Carlson has also given airtime to guests who claimed the riot was orchestrated by "deep state" partisans to undermine then-President Donald Trump, CNN reports.

Carlson tells Axios that there was "never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret. "If there ever was a question that's in the public's interest to know, it's what actually happened on January 6," he says. "By definition, this video will reveal it. It's impossible for me to understand why any honest person would be bothered by that." Last month, when discussing the House Select Committee's report on the Capitol attack, he said the public should "actually see all what happened instead of a report that’s written for a political basis."

The now-defunct House committee and federal investigators chose not to release some footage, especially footage showing how lawmakers were evacuated, because of security concerns. Former committee spokesperson Tim Mulvey tells CNN that there could be major security risk if the footage is used irresponsibly. "When the January 6th Select Committee obtained access to US Capitol Police video footage, it was treated with great sensitivity given concerns about the security of lawmakers, staff, and the Capitol complex," Mulvey says. "Access was limited to members and a small handful of investigators and senior staff, and the public use of any footage was coordinated in advance with Capitol Police." (Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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