Tucker Carlson ripped by Capitol Police, GOP senators for mischaracterizing J6

Source: Politico | March 7, 2023 | Kyle Cheney

Tucker Carlson ripped by Capitol Police, GOP senators for mischaracterizing Jan. 6

“It was not peaceful. It was an abomination,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said as the Hill’s police chief slammed the Fox News host for falsely portraying the attack.

Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger on Tuesday ripped Fox News and host Tucker Carlson for airing an “offensive and misleading” portrayal of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Manger wrote in an internal message to officers that Carlson’s Monday night primetime program “conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video” to incorrectly portray the violent assault as more akin to a peaceful protest. He added that Carlson’s “commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments.”

It’s an unusually blunt statement from Manger, who has labored keep his department away from political conflagrations. And the pushback could easily put the chief at odds with Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who had granted Carlson unfettered access to internal footage related to the riot. But Manger wasn’t alone in his criticisms — a number of Republican senators said they were, at the very least, troubled by Carlson’s depiction.

“Anybody that trespassed into the United States Capitol, you know, whether they did peacefully … did it illegally,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said. “I think that it’s unfortunate that [Carlson] is the exclusive holder of the tape recording. I just think it’s the kind of thing that should be made available to everybody at the same time, so as to not have a political angle to it.”

Asked about the portrayal of Jan. 6 on Carlson’s show, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) described the day as a violent attack and said any effort to “normalize that behavior is dangerous and disgusting.“

“I was here. It was not peaceful. It was an abomination,” added Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) “You’re entitled to believe what you want in America, but you can’t resort to violence to try to convince others of your point of view.”

And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell held up Manger’s letter during his weekly briefing with reporters, saying that he would “associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of the Capitol Police about what happened on January 6th.”


Attorney General Merrick Garland declined to comment directly on Carlson’s report during a Tuesday press conference at Justice Department headquarters, but said the facts about the Capitol riot are well-established.

“Over 100 officers were assaulted on that day, five officers died. We have charged more than 1,000 people with their crimes on that day and more than 500 have already been convicted,” the attorney general added. “I think it’s very clear what happened on Jan. 6.”


Manger, in his note to officers, emphasized that Carlson never reached out for context about the officers’ actions.

“One false allegation is that our officers helped the rioters and acted as ‘tour guides.’ This is outrageous and false,” Manger wrote. “The Department stands by the officers in the video that was shown last night. I don’t have to remind you how outnumbered our officers were on January 6. Those officers did their best to use de-escalation tactics to try to talk to rioters into getting each other to leave the building.”

Manger also took particular issue with what he said was a “disturbing” suggestion by Carlson that the late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick — who died of strokes on Jan. 7, 2021 — did not die because of anything that occurred the day before. Sicknick had been involved in some intense clashes with rioters and was assaulted with chemical spray in the early afternoon of the siege.

A medical examiner later concluded that Sicknick died of natural causes but suggested the stress caused by the riot could have been a contributor.

“The Department maintains, as anyone with common sense would, that had Officer Sicknick not fought valiantly for hours on the day he was violently assaulted, Officer Sicknick would not have died the next day,” Manger wrote.

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