Just days before the deadly pro-Trump attack on the U.S. Capitol, Fox News host Jesse Watters falsely told viewers that the 2020 presidential election was filled with voter fraud and complained that “we don't rebel, we don't march, we don't resist. … We used to storm the castle over abuses of power like this.” He then told followers to “relight that great American spirit” and “stand up to this den of thieves.”
Watters made similar remarks during a December 22 appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight. After talking about congressional spending, he stated: “This is a den of thieves. They are literally stealing from us while we're dying. They used to sharpen their pitchforks and storm the castle after an abuse of power like this.”
Watters, who is an ally of President Donald Trump, hosts the weekend program Watters’ World and co-hosts the weekday program The Five. He has a history of using his Fox News job to push bigotry and misinformation, including false claims about the results of the 2020 presidential election. Watters last year praised QAnon, the violence-linked conspiracy theory whose adherents included people who stormed the U.S. Capitol. (He later issued a statement distancing himself from QAnon.)
In addition to Watters, numerous other Fox hosts helped lay the groundwork for the violence on January 6 by repeatedly promoting conspiracy theories about the results of the 2020 election and pushing incendiary rhetoric.
During his December 26 program, Watters alleged that the United States is “a complacent country” and cited a litany of supposed instances in which people didn’t stand up for conservative values and President Trump, including purported “election fraud.”
He concluded his monologue by claiming: “We elect these people and rarely demand change. And when they sabotage a president who actually changed things, we don't rebel, we don't march, we don't resist. We watch it on TV. Our form of protest is just changing the channel. D.C. just mocks us and kicks us when we’re down. We used to storm the castle over abuses of power like this. Now, we just raid the fridge. So in 2021, let's relight that great American spirit. Let's stand up to this den of thieves because they'll just keep robbing us blind until we actually do something about it.”
Fox News promoted Watters’ monologue on its Facebook page, writing: "‘We used to storm the castle over abuses of power like this; now we just raid the fridge.’ — Jesse Watters.”
After his incendiary opening monologue, Watters claimed during an aside: “No one's calling for violence, but these screwballs in D.C., they work for us.”