Tucker Carlson slammed Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer’s “call for censorship,” after the Fox News host released footage of the Capitol riot on Monday night.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a primetime cable news anchor manipulate his viewers the way Mr. Carlson did last night,” the New York Democrat said on Tuesday.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen an anchor treat the American people and American democracy with such disdain.”
“And he’s going to come back tonight with another segment. Fox News should tell him not to,” Schumer continued.
Carlson was granted access to more than 41,000 hours of unseen footage from the Jan. 6 riot by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
When he began releasing it on Monday night, clips included Jacob Chansley, the “QAnon Shaman,” walking the Senate chamber with two Capitol police officers, and surveillance footage of officer Brian Sicknick “healthy and vigorous” while shooing away rioters.
Sicknick died from a series of strokes the next day, which a DC medical examiner claimed was partially caused by “all that transpired” on Jan. 6.
“These lies continue tonight, Robert Murdock, who has admitted they were lies and said he regretted it, has a special obligation to stop Tucker Carlson from going on tonight,” Schumer charged.
“Now that he’s seen how he has perverted and slimed the truth, and from letting him go on again and again and again.”
“Not because their views deserve such opprobrium, but because our democracy depends on it,” he summed up.
Carlson had plenty to say about the Senate Majority Leader’s response to his show.
“Chuck Schumer went on the Senate floor today to explode and to say that showing that video, evidence of wrongdoing by the federal government,” he began on Tuesday.
“Including the security forces, the police department that Nancy Pelosi personally controlled, letting the public see any of that is a threat to democracy.”
“You don’t often see the Senate majority leader openly call for censorship on the floor of the Senate as if that was totally normal and didn’t contradict the spirit and the letter of the First Amendment,” Carlson continued.
Schumer wasn’t the only one who knocked Carlson for airing the footage. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stood behind U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger’s assessment that the Fox News host made “offensive and misleading conclusions” about the Capitol Riot.
Manger also criticized the show’s “disturbing accusation” Sicknick’s death was not related to getting pepper sprayed and fighting with rioters on Jan. 6, though the medical examiner did conclude he died of natural causes.
“With regard to the presentation on Fox News last night, I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of Capitol Police about what happened on January 6,” the Republican senator remarked.
“My concern is how it was depicted, which is a different issue,” McConnell continued.
“It was a mistake, in my view, for Fox News to depict this in a way that’s completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here at the Capitol thinks.”
Despite his criticism for Carlson, McConnell wouldn’t condemn McCarthy for giving the conservative commentator access to the tapes.
McCarthy himself remains unapologetic for releasing the footage, and had harsh words for a CNN reporter for asking if he regretted it.
“No. I said at the very beginning, ‘transparency,’” McCarthy remarked on Tuesday.
“And so what I wanted to produce for everybody is exactly what I said, people can actually look at it and see what’s gone on that day.”
He bashed the liberal network for publishing where lawmakers were hiding within the Capitol building during the riot.
“This was a secret location … I don’t know if you got concerned by that, I don’t even know from a point of view of security if we could ever be taken there again,” McCarthy snarked.
“But when you broke that at CNN, that was a real concern to a lot of people.”
In addition to Schumer’s rebuke, fellow Republicans Josh Hawley (R-MO), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) denounced Carlson for airing the security footage.
The Fox News host wondered what lawmakers are trying to hide from the public.
“From this, we learn two things: One, you’re getting close to what they really care about. And you have to ask yourself why?” Carlson questioned.
Why is it so important that they would degrade themselves by telling such obvious lies and calling for censorship? Why? What are they trying to protect?”
“That might be worth exploring and we plan to. And the second thing we learned from this is that they’re on the same side,” he concluded.
“The Senate majority leader joins the Senate minority leader. Thom Tillis, Mitt Romney. They’re all on the same side!”