OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk tore into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after the senator took a stand against Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
“With regard to the presentation on Fox News last night, I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of the Capitol Police about what happened on January 6th,” Sen. McConnell said to reporters on Tuesday.
He was referencing a statement issued by the Capitol Police that shredded Carlson and the footage he showed.
The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police issued a memo to his staff on Tuesday following the airing of previously unseen security footage by Fox News host Tucker Carlson which showed police officers appearing to stand passively as a large crowd entered the Capitol on January 6.
Police Chief Tom Manger condemned the comments made during the airing of the footage on Carlson’s Monday night program, stating that it was “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions” about the riot of January 6, 2021, when a group of people breached the U.S. Capitol building, causing disruptions to lawmakers who were in the process of certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
“The program conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video,” Manger claimed. “The commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments.”
NEW – Capitol Police chief Thomas Manger sends internal memo this am saying Carlson’s report was “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions” about Jan. 6 and says the “opinion program” never reached out with appropriate context. Reporting w/ @rachelvscott pic.twitter.com/BrnD0n4IN1
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) March 7, 2023
Manger specifically objected to a segment that featured Capitol Police officers guiding Jacob Chansley, also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” through the Capitol building and Tucker Carlson’s portrayal of them as “tour guides.”
He also expressed concern about Carlson’s emphasis on Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who a medical examiner found had died of natural causes after suffering a stroke a day after the January 6 incident while protecting the Capitol, the Daily Wire reported.
The New York Times initially reported on January 8 that Sicknick was killed by a rioter wielding a fire extinguisher during the riot. However, the paper retracted the story five weeks later after the D.C. medical examiner stated that Sicknick had died of natural causes a day after the event. Other outlets also erroneously reported that Sicknick was beaten to death.
Nonetheless, both Sicknick’s family and the police believe that his death was related to the riot.
Video of Sicknick appearing to lead people out of the Capitol building after “he was supposedly murdered outside overturns the single-most powerful and politically useful lie the Democrats have told us about January 6,” Carlson noted.
Manger noted that Capitol Police “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.”
In his memo, Manger thanked and praised members of the Capitol Police force, commending their efforts on January 6. “You fought like hell on January 6 and risked your lives to protect the Constitution and everything this country stands for,” he wrote. “You, along with our law enforcement partners, saved every member of Congress and their staff.”
But Musk found Sen. McConnell’s opinion to be at odds with the Republican party, which he is supposed to represent.
“I keep forgetting which party he belongs to,” Musk said in response to a tweet from Charlie Kirk that showed Sen. McConnell making his comments.
I keep forgetting which party he belongs to
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 7, 2023
Republican Speaker of the House and California Rep. Kevin McCarthy stood by his decision to hand the footage to Carlson.
McCarthy gave back as good as he got from reporters on Tuesday who appeared to be critical of his decision to provide Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s team access to more than 41,000 hours of previously unseen video footage of the riot at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021.
The reporters’ comments came after Carlson aired several clips of the riot on his Monday program, claiming that members of the Democrat-led House January 6 Committee formed by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have “lied” to Americans about key events that day.
“Do you regret giving him this footage so he could whitewash the events of that day?” one reporter asked the California Republican.
McCarthy responded by defending Carlson and his decision, citing “transparency” as a major reason why he gave Fox News first access.
“I said at the very beginning – transparency. And so what I want to produce for everybody is exactly what I said, that people can actually look at it and see what’s gone on that day,” McCarthy noted.
“Each person can come up with their own conclusion [about the footage], but what I just want to make sure is I had transparency,” he added.