Tucker Carlson Says Jan. 6 Tapes Show Government Is 'Lying'

Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson said that based on the January 6 tapes that his team has been reviewing, he believes that the government has been "lying" to the American public.

"They are lying," Carlson told his audience on Thursday night. "And we know that because we've been looking at the tape."

In a controversial move, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy handed over more than 40,000 hours of surveillance footage from inside the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, to Carlson, granting Fox exclusive access to the tapes. McCarthy said that after Carlson is done reviewing the videos, he would make them more widely available to the public.

On Thursday, Carlson said he would share information about the tapes with his viewers as early as next week, teasing that it would be "really, really interesting."

Tucker Carlson January 6
Tucker Carlson speaks during 2022 FOX Nation Patriot Awards at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on November 17, 2022, in Hollywood, Florida. In inset, the exterior of the U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise on February 8, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Jason Koerner/Sarah Silbiger/Stringer

He questioned how the government was actually "defending democracy" by "denying" the American public access to the information that would help them come to their own conclusions about the Capitol riot.

"How does that work exactly? It's not democracy of course, it is building a bulwark against your lies being revealed," Carlson said.

Despite Carlson's records of raising false claims and conspiracy theories about the Capitol riot, McCarthy has defended giving Carlson the "exclusive," saying that no information would be released to him without being screened to ensure the safety of the Capitol complex. The House speaker did not provide details about that process but said that no "exit routes" used by lawmakers would be shown to the public.

Since McCarthy announced that he would hand Carlson "unfettered" access to the footage, Democrats have slammed McCarthy, arguing that the tapes could jeopardize sensitive security operations at the Capitol and expose vulnerabilities that could be taken advantage of by individuals "who might wish to attack the Capitol again."

Representative Bennie Thompson, the former chairman of the House panel that investigated the Capitol riot, said he would actually be "supportive" of a process seeking "true transparency" as long as it did not "compromise the integrity or the security of the Capitol."

The decision to give the tapes to Fox News has also been criticized by far-right figures, like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who said he would sue McCarthy for allegedly injuring his own network, LindellTV, by letting Fox "filter" the information from the videos. Lindell is claiming that by doing so, McCarthy is discriminating against him and violating freedom of the press.

At the same time, Carlson and Fox News are facing a massive defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, which alleged that the network damaged its reputation by promoting falsehoods that its systems were used to fraudulently elect President Joe Biden in 2020.

Text messages released from anchors, like Carlson, show that the network's top executives knew that claims of election fraud made by former President Donald Trump were false, but that they repeated the lies to their audiences.

One November text showed Carlson writing privately that Trump needed to concede the election and that "there wasn't enough fraud to change the outcome."

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.