January 6 will live in infamy as the day a mob of pro-Trump extremists laid siege on the United States Capitol, convinced by then-President Donald Trump's lies that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from them.
At least five people died as a direct result of the riots, in addition to two Capitol police officers committing suicide in the days after. A gallows was erected outside as Trump's supporters chanted to hang then-Vice President Mike Pence, who refused to overstep his powers and unilaterally throw out electoral votes in swing states Trump lost.
Trump's most fervent supporters still scramble to minimize Trump's connection to the deadly violence at the Capitol that day. Among them is the far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson, whose show frequently amplifies Trump's lies while employing white supremacists.
After Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)—frequent targets of the far-right thanks to lies spewed by the likes of Carlson—joined other lawmakers in opening up about the fear they experienced that day, Carlson spent weeks on his show attempting to discredit them.
Recently, he falsely claimed that lawmakers were never in any actual danger during the riots, because only Trump supporters died that day. This is a misleading assertion, since Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who happened to support Trump, was murdered by the pro-Trump rioters.
And as the House impeachment managers proved with previously unreleased security camera footage of the riots, multiple lawmakers—including Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT)—came within mere feet of the violent insurrectionists.
Now, a representative who was at the Capitol that day pushed back with his own experience of how dire the situation became.
Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) responded to Fox News playing a clip from Carlson's show, in which Carlson once again dismissed the idea that a domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol was a danger to lawmakers.
I saw a Republican member of Congress take apart a hand sanitizer station and make it into a club when we were atta… https://t.co/wDVvJwJ22A— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1613056437.0
"I saw a Republican member of Congress take apart a hand sanitizer station and make it into a club when we were attacked on House floor. I was planning on stabbing some in the eye in hopes of disarming them.... so yeah we were in danger."
Insurrectionists began shattering the windows of a door to the House of Representatives as members of Congress, including Gallego, were still inside. Security drew their guns and shortly after, the representatives were evacuated.
Gallego's account conveyed the sorts of life-or-death decisions the lawmakers were prepared to face as the insurrectionists further infiltrated the symbol of America's democracy.
It made Carlson's and Fox News' dismissal of the violence in defense of Trump even more deplorable.
It's INCREDIBLE to me that Republican politicians were not only endangered at the Capitol Chaos BUT actively took s… https://t.co/j5KOU7jAC5— Luciano, But Orwellian (@Luciano, But Orwellian) 1613102582.0
Carlson via Fox needs to be sued. https://t.co/7DhnIell3D— susie (@susie) 1613073743.0
It shouldn’t be called Fox News it should be entertainment media or tabloid TV. https://t.co/rq4jV8TVEy— Thaddeus Bangle (@Thaddeus Bangle) 1613060328.0
Our congressmen and women should never have to be endangered of their lives. Yet, they were! The incitement and rio… https://t.co/gHtxZUEdAh— Pamela (@Pamela) 1613059116.0
@TuckerCarlson needs to be fired next and sued. @FoxNews https://t.co/08OWWr5OAy— MaksymLozOfficial (@MaksymLozOfficial) 1613071720.0
I'd listen to this guy and those that lived it first hand over anyone who wasn't there. It's like telling someone w… https://t.co/eJstolB9rf— Almost Home (@Almost Home) 1613060426.0
Others were baffled at the alternate reality the network was presenting.
Shameful https://t.co/TQpKR1RfRr— Mehdi Hasan (@Mehdi Hasan) 1613056404.0
This is madness https://t.co/qGIftKO69C— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@Molly Jong-Fast🏡) 1613056896.0
Are we in the upside down right now? https://t.co/x910NEvT6A— Mindy Rowland (@Mindy Rowland) 1613096839.0
It appears that even a violent failed insurrection is not beyond the pale for mainstream conservative media.