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The White House has weighed in on Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, calling him “not credible” after he aired a segment of cherry-picked footage it sought to portray protesters. stormed the United States Capitol Mostly peaceful on January 6, 2021.

The segment, which aired on Monday evening, triggered a political whirlwind, with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre calling it a “false portrayal of an unprecedented violent assault on our Constitution and the rule of law” on Wednesday.

Top Democrat Chuck Schumer also accused Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of fueling conspiracy theories by giving Carlson “exclusive” access to the video.

Monday’s broadcast was the first installment in a series of segments drawing on 41,000 hours of security footage from the Capitol attack released to Carlson.

McCarthy said he stood by his decision to release the footage, which he claimed was done in the interest of transparency.

In Monday’s segment, Carlson described most of the January 6 protesters as “visual” who were “orderly and docile”, not rioters reverse election victory President Joe Biden’s. He also dismissed those who violently attacked the Capitol as a small minority of “hooligans”.

Carlson’s claims drew a rare White House rebuke on Wednesday, as the Biden administration typically refrains from commenting on specific media coverage.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement that the administration agreed with what “Fox News’ own lawyers and officials have now repeatedly asserted in multiple courts of law: that Tucker Carlson is not credible”.

One ongoing defamation suit has alleged that Fox News hosts intentionally spread misinformation about the 2020 presidential election, based on statements by Fox Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch and other top people at the network.

Five people, including a police officer, died during or shortly after attack on 6 januaryWhat turned out to be a joint session of the US Congress tallying Electoral College votes to certify Biden’s victory.

More than 140 police officers were also injured in the incident, which caused then-Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress and their staff to flee.

Carlson’s segment prompted widespread criticism, with Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger calling it “outrageous”. Top US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell similarly condemned the broadcast, saying: “In my view, it was a mistake by Fox News to portray it in a way that is completely different from what our chief law enforcement officer here at the Capitol thinks.” Is.”

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump, who has been accused of inciting his supporters to reverse his defeat in the 2020 election, seized on Carlson’s coverage as evidence that rioters were unjustly targeted. was created.

“Let the prisoners of January 6 go,” Trump wrote on his social media site Truth Social. “He was convicted, or is awaiting trial, on the basis of a colossal lie, a radical leftist job.”

Carlsen has defended his decision to play the footage. “Anybody can watch the tape and decide what they think about it,” he wrote in a piece Tuesday on the Fox News website.

‘gone too far’

The confusion is the latest headache for conservative Fox News, which is struggling with a $1.6bn defamation lawsuit Filed by Dominion Voting Systems.

Court filings made public during the case have revealed internal discussions of networks as to how Trump and his allies have addressed false claims about widespread election fraud amid concerns about falling TV ratings.

The latest batch of documents revealed Tuesday show top executives, producers and hosts expressing skepticism about the “stolen election” theory, while the network promotes the claims while still on the air.

In a newly released email, Murdoch suggested hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham possibly went “too far” in their coverage of voter fraud claims.

In another newly released email, Murdoch also referred to a gambling news conference by Trump aide Rudy Giuliani as “silly and harmful”.

Previously released documents show prominent hosts of Fox News privately expressing disbelief as they covered up the fraud claims on their shows.

In a text dated November 16, 2020, Carlson said that Trump’s attorney “Sydney Powell is lying” about having evidence of election fraud.

In a statement last week, Murdoch accepted Some of his network hosts, including Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro and Sean Hannity, supported the false election claims.

“Yes. He supported,” Murdoch said when questioned.

To prevail in the defamation case, Dominion Voting Systems must show that Fox News’ coverage contained “actual malice” – something it seeks to prove by demonstrating that Fox either knew its statements were false or Carelessly disregarded their accuracy.

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