(MAINNEWS) – House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has granted Fox News host Tucker Carlson access to tens of thousands of hours of closed circuit camera footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol Building, leading to an outcry from some Democratic lawmakers.
The 44,000 hours of footage, most of which Carlson claims has never been seen by the public before, has been under review by the Fox News host’s producers “for about a week,” and Carlson said Monday that he plans to air some of the footage starting next week.
“So, there are about 44,000 hours. And we have, you may have heard this, we’ve been granted access to that, and we believe that access is unfettered. We believe we have secured the right to see whatever we want to see,” Carlson said on his show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Monday.
“So, we’ve been there about a week, our producers, some of our smartest producers, have been there, looking at this stuff and trying to figure out what it means and how it contradicts or not the story that we’ve been told for more than two years,” Carlson added.
“We think already that in some ways, it does contradict that story. And so we’re going to spend the rest of this week, taking a look at it, assessing it as honestly as we can, and we’re going to bring you what we find next week,” he concluded.
Axios first reported Monday that “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News and “Tucker Carlson Today” and “Tucker Carlson Originals” on the Fox Nation streaming service have been given access to the massive trove of footage.
A spokesperson for Fox News confirmed the report to The Post.
Carlson told Axios that “there was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret.”
“If there was ever a question that’s in the public’s interest to know, it’s what actually happened on January 6. By definition, this video will reveal it. It’s impossible for me to understand why any honest person would be bothered by that,” he added.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, the former head of the House Jan. 6 committee, warned of “security risks” with Carlson’s producers being given access to the tapes.
“It’s hard to overstate the potential security risks if this material were to be used irresponsibly,” Thompson said in a statement Monday.
“If Speaker McCarthy has indeed granted Tucker Carlson — a Fox host who routinely spreads misinformation and Putin’s poisonous propaganda — and his producers access to this sensitive footage, he owes the American people an explanation of why he has done so and what steps he has taken to address the significant security concerns at stake,” Thompson added.
McCarthy signaled last month that he supported releasing all the footage from the Capitol Building from Jan. 6, 2021.
“Yeah, I think the public should see what happened,” McCarthy told reporters.