White House calls Jan. 6 text revelations ‘disappointing’
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday said text messages between Fox News hosts and former President Trump’s chief of staff on Jan. 6 were “disappointing” because they showed the hosts expressing concern in private but “spreading lies and conspiracy” in public.
“It’s disappointing and unfortunately not surprising that some of the very same individuals who were willing to warn, condemn, and express horror over what happened on Jan. 6 in private were totally silent in public, or even worse, were spreading lies and conspiracy theories and continued to since that time,” Psaki told reporters when asked about the newly revealed messages at a briefing.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen a trend from the same individuals,” Psaki added.
Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows provided the messages to the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and the panel released them on Monday.
The records showed that Fox News hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Brian Kilmeade all pleaded with Meadows on Jan. 6 to get Trump to quell the violence at the Capitol.
“Mark, president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy,” Ingraham texted him.
Hannity asked whether Trump could make a statement and ask people to leave the Capitol.
“Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished,” wrote Kilmeade.
The hosts went on to minimize Trump’s and his supporters’ role in the violence on their programs, instead condemning the insurrection and pointing to actions from other groups.
Ingraham, for instance, went on her program and suggested, without evidence, that the attack was perpetrated by members of the left-wing group antifa.
“From a chaotic Washington tonight, earlier today the Capitol was under siege by people who can only be described as antithetical to the MAGA movement,” Ingraham said on her show on Jan. 6, according to The New York Times.
“Now, they were likely not all Trump supporters, and there are some reports that antifa sympathizers may have been sprinkled throughout the crowd.”
The messages were among dozens that Meadows received from lawmakers and staffers amid the violence on Jan. 6, according to the committee. The records showed that Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, also pleaded with him to get Trump to publicly disavow the violence.
“We need an Oval Office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand,” Trump Jr. wrote in one message.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.