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."
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.
Twitter users who generally don't support Tillis gave him kudos on this particular occasion.
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.”
Those who rebuked Carlson's lies weighed in online.
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."