Fox News host Tucker Carlson insisted again Monday night: “There is no evidence that white supremacists are responsible for what happened on January 6, that's a lie” — and furthermore, that the attack on the Capitol was not an “armed insurrection,” either.
Carlson has continued to air these false claims on his Fox prime-time show since the attack despite a constant stream of evidence that there were both organized white supremacists at the Capitol on January 6, and that the riot was a planned effort to stop the transfer of power from the defeated President Donald Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.
Carlson’s latest remarks were in response to comments by Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland, who pledged at his confirmation hearing on Monday to “supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6.”
On Tuesday, the day after Carlson’s comments, current and former Capitol security officials reaffirmed to a Senate hearing that white supremacists and other extremist groups were involved in the insurrection, and that the riot was not simply a mass protest but had instead been “a military-style, coordinated assault ... and a violent takeover of the Capitol Building.
Carlson also spoke with right-wing pundit Julie Kelly, who claimed that the siege did not constitute an “armed insurrection” — because, she said, “only a handful” of the individuals who have been charged so far with weapons violations “actually used any kind of weapon.”
Carlson has previously objected to calling the siege of the Capitol “domestic terrorism” — instead claiming it was “simply that a political protest got out of hand after the president recklessly encouraged it” — and even claimed that it was “not an armed insurrection.”
Carlson’s various denials have continued despite the fact that numerous white supremacist emblems were seen during the Capitol siege, ranging from Confederate battle flags to one man who wore a sweatshirt bearing the title of “Camp Auschwitz,” as well as a variety of far-right militias. Even since January, soon after the riot itself, there has been extensive reporting on how far-right elements had planned online to storm the Capitol. And last week, a new indictment alleged a conspiracy by members of the Oath Keepers militia who allegedly planned and trained for the event, with messages showing that the participants believed that Trump “wants us to make it WILD. … He called us all to the Capitol.”
In addition, ABC News recently interviewed a Black member of the Capitol Police, who recounted his experience of both the physical violence and racist invective from the attackers:
Dunn recalls gasping for air through the pepper spray and bear mace, blood on his knuckles and the relentless noises from the rioters. He soon found himself in tears, being consoled by a fellow officer who asked him what had happened amidst the chaos.
"’I got called a [N-word] a couple dozen times today protecting this building,’” Dunn recalled telling his colleague. “Is this America? They beat police officers with Blue Lives Matter flags. They fought us, they had Confederate flags in the U.S. Capitol.”