The White House on Wednesday name-checked Fox News host Tucker Carlson as a noncredible source of news over his portrayal of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol on his prime-time show this week.
“We agree with Fox nation’s own attorneys and executives, who have repeatedly stressed in multiple courts of law that Tucker Carlson is not credible when it comes to this issue in particular,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, referring to the Capitol riot.
In appearing to agree with attorneys for a news network whose reporters often spar with the White House — and one on which the president refuses to make appearances — Jean-Pierre’s remarks made for a rare moment in which the administration touted comments from representatives with the right-leaning news organization from the briefing room podium.
“You literally can’t believe the facts Tucker Carlson tells you, so say Fox’s lawyers,” she said. Jean-Pierre added, “Fox executives say [Sean] Hannity, Carlson’s shows are not credible sources of news,” citing a deposition from David Clark, a senior vice president at Fox News.
The testimony and comments Jean-Pierre cited came from the contents of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed against Fox Corp. by Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion claims the network knowingly aired false claims about the company being spun by former President Trump and his allies. Fox has so far has argued to have the case dismissed on First Amendment grounds and accused Dominion of cherry-picking quotes from its top talent and executives.
Jean-Pierre on Wednesday said that the White House agrees with Capitol Police and lawmakers who have pushed back on Carlson being granted access by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to clips of the Jan. 6 attack.
When Carlson aired the first portion of never-before-seen angles of footage from the attack on Monday on his show, he downplayed the violence that broke out and described the scene at one point as “mostly peaceful chaos.”
“We agree with the chief of Capitol Police and the outrage of bipartisan lawmakers…who have condemned this false depiction of the unprecedented violent attacks on our Constitution and the rule of law, which caused police officers their lives,” Jean-Pierre said. “That’s what we saw on that day.”
Capitol Police officials said they saw just one of the many clips Carlson aired on Monday night despite requesting that they be shown all clips for a security review before being aired. McCarthy had said Capitol Police would be consulted before the video aired to address security concerns, and Carlson said on his show that his team had checked with Capitol Police.