The nation continues to grapple with the events of January 6, when a mob of former President Donald Trump's extremist supporters, motivated by his election lies, attacked the United States Capitol to upend the joint congressional session certifying then-President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
The rioters shattered windows, beat police officers, smeared excrement across the walls, ransacked offices, and called for the execution of any elected officials perceived as disloyal to Trump.
In the following months, Republican elected officials and media personalities have scrambled to dismiss the severity of the riots and to promote conspiracy theories absolving the party of culpability.
Conservative pundit Megyn Kelly became the latest voice to join that chorus of denial in recent comments on her podcast.
"There's no question the media represented this as so much worse than it actually was."
"We've all seen the video of people, like, screaming in the face of cops, being totally disparaging, and defecating on the floor of the US Capitol, and lawmakers were understandably afraid, not like [Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying] 'I need therapy for the rest of my life' afraid, but I could understand it, and I didn't like seeing it at all."
Kelly went on to say that the media used the deadly failed insurrection to malign all Trump supporters.
Her comments were met with immediate backlash, including from Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu of California, who mentioned her in a tweet calling out one of his colleagues for dismissing the riots.
Dear @Rep_Clyde: Can you take 34 seconds of your time to watch insurrectionists brutally assault police, and the ch… https://t.co/az3lp8zPCH— Ted Lieu (@Ted Lieu) 1626391866.0
Kelly soon responded, saying people had "no clue" who he was.
Hey @tedlieu - I realize you get more attention by using my name since most ppl have no clue who you are, but try t… https://t.co/3RC7nSOysQ— Megyn Kelly (@Megyn Kelly) 1626392007.0
He retorted by pointing out she followed him on Twitter.
Thank you @megynkelly for following me on Twitter. https://t.co/AoIc100UyE— Ted Lieu (@Ted Lieu) 1626458949.0
Kelly's critics applauded the response.
I thought in many cases journalists outsmart elected officials, here it is the opposite. 😆 https://t.co/ArkmoiuBo3— Saimir (@Saimir) 1626464402.0
A classic less is more Twitter burn. Flameout like the media has been you are @megynkelly https://t.co/L97wKriFEA— Kent Harrington (@Kent Harrington) 1626464312.0
Ted Lieu is untouchable. You try to make him look bad & he has a comeback for anything you throw at him. You only… https://t.co/cNlOFrzkhL— The Jewish Ginger Resister (@The Jewish Ginger Resister) 1626464173.0
Meanwhile, Kelly continues to face backlash for downplaying the riots.
In Megyn’s warped reality: Americans killed 140 police officers injured A noose erected near the Capitol Rioters ch… https://t.co/rcj2qMRdCY— Emily Brandwin (@Emily Brandwin) 1626185249.0
If Megyn Kelly had reported on the sinking of the Titanic it would’ve been referred to as a boating mishap. https://t.co/vatKA4l3ok— JSWilliams1962 (@JSWilliams1962) 1626183453.0
Megyn must be trying to get back into Fox. https://t.co/G60wBlAL1U— Karen Burgess (@Karen Burgess) 1626183710.0
There is no doubt Megyn Kelly is much worse than we actually thought she was. https://t.co/LEyxHAh7a8— 🌵AZ Sue 🌊 🐕🇺🇸 #RallyTheValley (@🌵AZ Sue 🌊 🐕🇺🇸 #RallyTheValley) 1626182732.0
In just under two weeks, the House Select Committee on the Capitol Riots will hold its first hearing.