Megyn Kelly: Media's portrayal of Jan. 6 'so much worse than it actually was'

Conservative journalist and pundit Megyn Kelly is downplaying the seriousness of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, saying national media covering the insurrection that day made the incident out to be worse than it actually was.

"A faction turned," Kelly said during a recent episode of her podcast of the people who gathered in Washington, D.C., to protest the congressional certification of President BidenJoe BidenFirst lady leaves Walter Reed after foot procedure Biden backs effort to include immigration in budget package MyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News MORE's Electoral College victory. "But there's no question the media represented this as so much worse than it actually was." 

Kelly added, "We've all seen the video of people, like, screaming in the face of cops, being totally disparaging, and defecating on the floor of the U.S. Capitol, and lawmakers were understandably afraid, not like [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying] 'I need therapy for the rest of my life' afraid, but I could understand it, and I didn't like seeing it at all." 

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Five deaths were reported in connection with the Jan. 6 riot, including one Capitol Police officer. One woman who had illegally entered the Capitol was shot and killed as rioters sought to break into the Speaker's Gallery just off the House floor. 

The mob overwhelmed Capitol Police, and numerous videos have shown members of the mob using various weapons against officers to get past barriers and to enter the Capitol. 

Police were overrun as lawmakers were seeking to certify President Biden's Electoral College victory over former President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE in the 2020 election. The attack interrupted the counting of the ballots, forcing lawmakers to shelter in place. The count resumed later that night after the Capitol was secured with the introduction of troops and more police.

It's unclear how many people entered the Capitol, though photos and videos appear to show hundreds. 

Kelly argued most of the crowd was being tarred by the bad actions of a few.

Supporters of Trump are "supposed to be pro-cop," said Kelly, who criticized people at a "Stop the Steal" rally who marched to the Capitol and attacked Capitol Police officers. 

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"But that does not mean that's what the entire crowd was there for," she continued. "So they got tarred by the actions of some losers who went a different way. And then the media did what it does, which is any bad behavior gets attributed to the entire group of Trump supporters." 

Kelly later argued mainstream media outlets, in covering the events of Jan. 6, were "tying the political rhetoric" of Trump repeatedly denying he lost the presidential election and peddling false claims of voter fraud to "what we saw that day." 

There was a lack of what Kelly called "nuance" in the reporting that followed in the days and weeks following the attack on the Capitol. 

A number of GOP lawmakers as well as Trump have downplayed the events of Jan. 6. One GOP congressman likened the images that day to a tour group visiting the Capitol. 

Kelly, who recently signed a deal with SiriusXM to host a daily radio program, is often critical of the mainstream press for coverage of Trump, conservatives and politics in general. 

The former Fox News anchor said during a recent interview that a subsequent stint at NBC News was not “intellectually stimulating" enough for her and drove her to leave outlet. 

Of Jan. 6, Kelly said: "It wasn't an insurrection. It wasn't."