Republican Senator Calls 'Bullsh**t' On Tucker's Whitewashing Of January 6th As 'Sightseers'
After Tucker Carlson portrayed January 6th insurrectionists as 'peaceful sightseers', Senator Thom Tillis called 'bull***t.'
North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis called "bullsh*t" on Fox News host Tucker Carlson downplaying the events of January 6, 2021, at the United States Capitol.
A strong majority of conservative MAGA adherents continue either minimizing the Capitol insurrection or refusing to acknowledge the riot incited by former Republican President Donald Trump was a violent act of domestic terrorism.
Carlson is one of many rightwingers who routinely minimizes the insurrection that ultimately led to the deaths of almost ten people–including some who died in the aftermath. The riot also caused over 100 injuries to law enforcement and millions of dollars in damages including smashed doors and windows, stolen property and feces and urine smeared on walls and floors by rioters.
On Monday night, Carlson attacked the media coverage of the Capitol riot. To push his false narrative, the conspiracy theorist shared carefully selected cuts of surveillance footage taken from the Capitol building provided to him by fellow insurrection denier, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Last year, McCarthy maintained “no one would disagree” the Capitol riot was a violent insurrection but changed his tune to gain favor from far-right members of the GOP in order to become Speaker.
Carlson cherry-picked from roughly 40,000 hours of security footage he was granted access to in order to frame the day as nothing but a calm day of Trump supporters respectfully walking around and taking in the historic building.
He shared the footage from his Fox program on Twitter and wrote:
"Virtually no one in Washington, Republican or Democrat, wanted to see this tape released tonight."
\u201cVirtually no one in Washington, Republican or Democrat, wanted to see this tape released tonight.\u201d— Tucker Carlson (@Tucker Carlson) 1678161466
On the Fox program, Tucker claimed:
“Taken as a whole, the video record does not support the claim that January 6 was an insurrection."
“In fact, it demolishes that claim.”
As the violent mob stormed the Capitol riled by Trump's spurious claim the election was stolen, not every hallway was constantly chaotic.
Carlson used clips from those few quieter moments to support his lies.
“The crowd was enormous. A small percentage of them were hooligans. They committed vandalism. You’ve seen their pictures again and again."
"But the overwhelming majority weren’t. They were peaceful. They were orderly and meek. These were not insurrectionists. They were sightseers.”
Due to the pandemic, the Capitol was closed to sightseers on January 6, 2021.
Reporters recently caught up with GOP Senior Senator Tillis as he was en route to the Senate chamber via the underground access corridor to ask what he thought about Carlson's portrayal of January 6.
Tillis didn't mince words when he replied:
“I think it’s bullsh*t."
He told interviewers:
“When you see police officers assaulted, all of that ... if you were just a tourist, you should’ve probably lined up at the visitors’ center and came in on an orderly basis.”
You can hear his comments in the video below.
\u201cSen. Tillis reacts to Tucker Carlson's narrative that Jan. 6 was peaceful: \n\n"I think it's bulls**t."\u201d— Republican Accountability (@Republican Accountability) 1678214460
Twitter users who generally don't support Tillis gave him kudos on this particular occasion.
\u201c@AccountableGOP @RandiLittle20 I don't agree with Tillis on much, but well done.\u201d— Republican Accountability (@Republican Accountability) 1678214460
\u201c@AccountableGOP Regrettably I rarely agree with my Senator. This is one of the times where we agree.\u201d— Republican Accountability (@Republican Accountability) 1678214460
\u201c@AccountableGOP I mean really, once that coward @SpeakerMcCarthy gave those tapes to @TuckerCarlson , did you expect anything different?\u201d— Republican Accountability (@Republican Accountability) 1678214460
\u201c@AccountableGOP @gtconway3d That\u2019s great @SenThomTillis. Thank you. Now go on Fox News and say it.\u201d— Republican Accountability (@Republican Accountability) 1678214460
\u201c@AccountableGOP More Republicans need to start standing up to the Fascists.\u201d— Republican Accountability (@Republican Accountability) 1678214460
Tillis continued sharing his eye-witness recollection of insurrectionists storming the Capitol that day.
“I saw people breaching fences, assaulting police officers, using pepper spray, breaking windows, destroying this building we’re walking through right now."
"And it was wrong.”
\u201c@AccountableGOP Yep @SenThomTillis you are 100% correct. Now, what are you going to do about it? Will you let it stand? - Signed, A voter in NC.\u201d— Republican Accountability (@Republican Accountability) 1678214460
Those who rebuked Carlson's lies weighed in online.
\u201c@TuckerCarlson Can't wait for Tucker Carlson to be sued by Capitol police just like how Alex Jones was sued by the parents of Sandy Hook.\u201d— Tucker Carlson (@Tucker Carlson) 1678161466
\u201c@TuckerCarlson We all know what we saw on live TV for three hours on 1/6. Your lies and selective editing of security tapes is not going to change the reality of what we saw. We also know that you and @FoxNews knowingly lie to your audience because you\u2019re afraid of losing them to the truth.\u201d— Tucker Carlson (@Tucker Carlson) 1678161466
\u201c@TuckerCarlson Tucks own lawyer says tucks is such a liar, he could not reasonably be believed by anyone.\u201d— Tucker Carlson (@Tucker Carlson) 1678161466
\u201c@TuckerCarlson The fact that Rupert Murdoch has not fired Tucker Carlson, Ingraham and Hannity a month after his deposition and allows them to still spew these lies makes him and all Fox executives COMPLICIT in this insurrection. The FCC needs to take away their license for OTR broadcasts.\u201d— Tucker Carlson (@Tucker Carlson) 1678161466
\u201c@AccountableGOP This is a low low moment for Carlson, the anti-patriot, unAmerican liar who has brought hate to so many people--Rupert Murdoch will be remembered as the man who green-lighted this repeat of what happened in the 1930's. It is okay to be conservative, to be in GOP, but this?\u201d— Republican Accountability (@Republican Accountability) 1678214460
Tillis has been very vocal against those who participated in or supported the riot.
In August 2021, he responded to a reporter's question about his thoughts on the MAGA crowd storming the Capitol and said he believed many of the rioters involved "needed to be held accountable and go to prison."
"I'm willing to have a modicum of sympathy for people who were outside or maybe they went through an open door and then they left."
"But if they stayed there, if they didn't ask people to be calm, if they didn't provide aid to someone who was injured like a police officer, then they're going to have to answer to the courts for that."
He previously called January 6 "a dark day in American history that should not be repeated and every single person who broke the law should be held responsible.”
In the May 2021 statement written for the House commission to investigate the events around January 6, Tillis contributed:
"The Department of Justice has already charged more than 400 individuals, and I fully support this ongoing investigation."