More Americans disapprove of McCarthy sharing Jan. 6 footage with Carlson than approve: poll

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.

More Americans disapprove of Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) decision to share Capitol surveillance footage from the Jan. 6 riot exclusively with Fox News host Tucker Carlson than approve, according to a new poll released on Wednesday.

Forty-three percent in The Economist-YouGov poll said they either strongly or somewhat disapprove of McCarthy’s decision, while 35 percent said they approve. Another 22 percent remain unsure.

Republicans were more likely than Democrats to approve of the Speaker’s decision to release the footage to the conservative pundit. Just over half of Republicans in the survey — 55 percent — said they strongly or somewhat approve of the release of the footage, while 63 percent of Democrats said they disapproved.

Reports first emerged last week that McCarthy had granted Carlson access to more than 40,000 hours of footage from around the time of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. 

“I promised,” McCarthy told The New York Times last week of his decision. “I was asked in the press about these tapes, and I said they do belong to the American public. I think sunshine lets everybody make their own judgment.”

However, Democrats have slammed the decision as an “egregious security breach.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called it “one of the worst security risks” to the Capitol complex since 9/11.

“The footage Speaker McCarthy is making available to Fox News is a treasure trove of closely held information about how the Capitol complex is protected and its public release would compromise the safety of the Legislative Branch and allow those who want to commit another attack to learn how Congress is safeguarded,” Schumer said.

McCarthy and House Republicans have since pumped the brakes on the release of the footage and vowed that it would not be released or broadcast without first being screened for security risks.

“It’s many more hours of tape than we were ever told,” McCarthy told reporters. “They said at the beginning it was like, 14,000 hours. There’s roughly almost 42,000 hours. We’re working through that. We work with the Capitol Police as well, so we’ll make sure security is taken care of.”

The Economist-YouGov poll was conducted Feb. 25-28 with 1,500 U.S. adults and had a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points.

Tags Chuck Schumer Fox News Jan. 6 Capitol riot Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Poll Tucker Carlson Tucker Carlson

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