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Kevin McCarthy Explains Why He Gave The Jan 6 Tapes To Tucker Carlson



Kevin McCarthy

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) defended his controversial move to give Fox News host Tucker Carlson the security footage from the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, telling the New York Times he did it because he “promised.”

“I was asked in the press about these tapes, and I said they do belong to the American public. I think sunshine lets everybody make their own judgment,” he told the Times.

While the California Republican McCarthy did indeed promise to release the footage as part of his bid to become speaker, he did not say the footage would go to Carlson, who has been one of the most prominent promoters of January 6 conspiracy theories and one of the most vocal voices in conservative media calling for the videos to be released.

A source close to McCarthy said he opted to give the footage to a friendly conservative media network to avoid the appearance that the House GOP was relitigating the January 6 attack.

He is also hoping that outsourcing this work to the media will be a way to appease his right flank without upsetting his moderates and majority makers, the source told The Times.

But it’s still a big risk, and McCarthy and House Republicans could still wind up taking the blame for however this plays out in the media. Already, Democrats have been quick to criticize the move by McCarthy, warning that it creates a significant security risk.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday blasted McCarthy in a letter to his Senate colleagues – comments that marked the first time Schumer has spoken out about the move. Schumer said in the letter that, “the speaker is needlessly exposing the Capitol complex” and that the disclosure “poses grave security risks to members of Congress and everyone who works on Capitol Hill.”

In the letter, Schumer said McCarthy’s decision to give the footage to Carlson “laid bare that this sham is simply about pandering to MAGA election deniers, not the truth.”

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