House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday he does not “regret” handing more than 40,000 hours of Capitol riot footage to Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson.
Carlson aired parts of the footage Monday night, which showed Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley evacuating the building behind a group of colleagues. Several prominent Republicans in Congress condemned the release of the footage on Fox News, with some accusing Carlson of downplaying the events of the Jan. 6 riot.
CNN chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju asked McCarthy if he has regrets for handing over the footage to Carlson.
“No,” McCarthy said. “I said at the very beginning, transparency. And so what I wanted to produce for everybody is exactly what I said, that people could actually look at it and see what’s gone on that day.”
McCarthy said the people can draw their own conclusions about the riot, and accused CNN of endangering Capitol security by revealing lawmakers’ movements during the riot.
The speaker also discussed the “tragic” deaths of law enforcement officers who died in the aftermath of the riot — four of them from suicide. A fifth officer, Brian Sicknick, died the day following the riot after suffering two strokes. His death was ruled natural, though the chief medical examiner said that “all that transpired played a role in his condition,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Anytime an officer has passed in this situation, I want to make sure they’re protected, I want to make sure transparency goes forward,” McCarthy said. (RELATED: Tucker Carlson Fires Back At Sen. Schumer’s ‘Call For Censorship’ Over Unearthed Jan. 6 Footage)
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger has accused Carlson of releasing “offensive and misleading conclusions” about the riot and for making the “disturbing accusation” that Sicknick’s death was not caused by the riot.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed Manger’s criticism.
“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,” McConnell said. “My concern is how it was depicted, which is a different issue. 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.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Fox News to kick Carlson off the air for releasing the footage.