Tucker Carlson says that he has access to 44,000 hours of Jan. 6 video footage

WASHINGTON — Conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Monday that he and his team have gained access to about 44,000 hours of security camera footage taken during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“So there are about 44,000 hours, and we have, you may have read, been granted access to that,” Carlson said on his prime-time show. “We believe that access is unfettered. We believe we have secured the right to see whatever we want to see.”

Carlson said his producers have been looking at the footage “trying to figure out what it means and how it contradicts or not the story we’ve been told for two years” about Jan. 6. He said his team plans to spend the rest of the week going through it and said he’ll “bring you what we find next week.”

The Fox News anchor’s comments followed a report by Axios on Monday that said, citing anonymous sources, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., gave Carlson access to the security footage from U.S. Capitol Police.

NBC News has not independently verified the report. McCarthy’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., on Tuesday wrote in a letter to colleagues obtained by NBC News that the move was “an egregious security breach that endangers the hardworking women and men of the United States Capitol Police.”

Lawmakers from both parties also reacted to the report prior to Carlson’s Monday night broadcast.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who served on the House Jan. 6 committee, called Carlson a “man who spews Kremlin talking points. Suggests Jan 6 was a false flag. And spreads the Big Lie.”

The former chair of the Jan. 6 committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a lengthy statement that his panel treated video footage provided by Capitol Police with great sensitivity.

“It’s hard to overstate the potential security risks if this material were to be used irresponsibly,” Thompson said. “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.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., on Twitter said the news reaffirmed her support for McCarthy as Speaker and that “Americans deserve to see the truth.”

Carlson has long downplayed the violence on Jan. 6. He is known to peddle conspiracy theories and lies on his show.

In a statement Tuesday, Michael Fanone, a former Metropolitan D.C. police officer who sustained severe injuries while defending the Capitol on Jan. 6, predicted that the video footage will be “selectively edited to fit an extreme MAGA narrative without care for the safety of Capitol Police, Members of Congress and Congressional staff.”

“Airing footage of restricted areas of the Capitol and sensitive evacuation protocols, all while spreading misinformation about the nature of the attack, endangers everyone working in the building,” Fanone said.

Fanone said that if McCarthy were actually interested in transparency, he would release the footage to all news outlets or continue the work of the Jan. 6 committee.

He said McCarthy’s “decision is proof he would prefer to weaponize it to score cheap political points. Tucker Carlson is not a journalist, he’s an entertainer peddling propaganda and conspiracy theories — but as someone who defended the Capitol on January 6th, there’s nothing entertaining at all to me about that day.”

Garrett Haake, Liz Brown-Kaiser, Ryan Nobles, Haley Talbot and Ali Vitali contributed.

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