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McCarthy on giving Tucker Carlson access to Jan. 6 footage: Press seem ‘jealous’

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
Greg Nash
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks to reporters on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 to discuss giving Fox News’ Tucker Carlson access to tapes from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to review.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) doubled down on his decision to hand over Jan. 6 footage to Fox host Tucker Carlson, saying that the press seem “jealous.”

Earlier this month, McCarthy granted access to 41,000 hours of security footage from the Jan. 6 attacks to Carlson, sparking criticism from other news outlets and security concerns from Democrats. In an interview with The Washington Post, McCarthy said that the footage will be released broadly soon and that his team took actions to mitigate security concerns.

“It almost seems like the press is jealous,” McCarthy told the Post. “And that’s interesting because every person in the press works off exclusives on certain things.”

“People like exclusives, and Tucker is someone that’s been asking for it,” McCarthy added. He also said in the interview that he let Carlson see the tapes, but that “everyone’s going to get it.”

After days of remaining silent on the issue and dodging questions from reporters, McCarthy and other Republicans made it clear on Tuesday that no information would be given to Carlson’s team without it first being screened for security purposes. McCarthy told reporters on Tuesday that his team is working with the U.S. Capitol Police to ensure the footage is safe to release.

McCarthy defended his decision to give the security footage to Carlson, adding that the Fox host was not interested in seeing footage of the “exit routes,” which he said he was “concerned” that CNN had access too. This comment was directed at the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks, which aired former Vice President Mike Pence’s route leaving the Senate chamber. The footage, however, did not show Pence’s full route out of the chamber.

He also accused the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks of giving footage to outlets favored by liberal viewers, like CNN and MSNBC.

“I know CNN was given tapes that the January 6 [committee] would pick and choose so I know they’ve had a lot of exclusives around that. I want to make sure we don’t play politics like that,” he said on Tuesday.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the since-dissolved Jan. 6 committee, defended the committee’s actions on Tuesday, saying that any video shown to the public was “vetted through the chief of the Capitol Police.”

Tags Bennie Thompson Bennie Thompson Jan. 6 Capitol riot Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Mike Pence Tucker Carlson Tucker Carlson

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