U.S. Capitol Police say they saw just one of the many clips from the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol that Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired on Monday night, after he was granted access by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
“We repeatedly requested that any clips be shown to us first for a security review,” Capitol Police told The Hill on Monday. “So far we have only been given the ability to preview a single clip out of the multiple clips that aired.”
The limited consultation comes after McCarthy said Capitol Police would be consulted before the video aired to address security concerns.
“We work with the Capitol Police as well, so we’ll make sure security is taken care of,” McCarthy told reporters last week.
Carlson said on his show that his team checked with Capitol Police before airing the footage, and that their reservations were “minor” and “reasonable.”
His show blurred the details of an interior door in the Capitol due to those concerns.
The same camera angle of the door was previously released during the impeachment trial of former President Trump in 2021, without any blurring of the door, picturing senators and staff evacuating.
The disagreement over whether Capitol Police were meaningfully consulted comes as Carlson says he will release more of the roughly 44,000 hours of unseen footage he now has access to.
A senior GOP aide with knowledge of the process of releasing the footage said that there was coordination with Capitol Police.
The Capitol Police gave a list of what would be considered security sensitive, the aide said.
When Carlson’s team picked out the clips to air, only one of those – the clip with the door – was considered to be security sensitive based on that list, and then given to the Capitol Police to review.
The Capitol Police then cleared that clip, with the details of the door being blurred.
“We worked with the Capitol Police to identify any security-sensitive footage and made sure it wasn’t released,” McCarthy spokesman Mark Bednar said in a statement.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), chairman of the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight, also said last week that the footage given to Carlson to air would be cleared for security purposes.
“It’s basically controlled access to be able to view tapes. Can’t record, can’t take anything with you. Then they will request any particular clips that — that they may need, and then we’ll make sure that there’s nothing sensitive, nothing classified — you know, escape routes,” Loudermilk said.
A representative for Fox News did not immediately return a request for comment.
“This action clearly does not coincide with promises of safety and security and endangers everyone who visits and works in the Capitol complex,” Rep. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.), top Democrat on the House Committee on Administration, which oversees Capitol Police, said in a statement to The Hill.
During his primetime show on Monday, Carlson aired the first portion of never-before-seen angles of footage from the attack by Trump supporters, downplaying the violence that broke out during the incident describing the scene at one point as “mostly peaceful chaos.”
“‘Deadly insurrection.’ Everything about that phrase is a lie,” Carlson said during his show Monday night. “Very little about Jan. 6 was organized or violent. Surveillance video from inside the Capitol shows mostly peaceful chaos.”
The agreement to consult Capitol Police over the footage comes after Democrats and several who worked on the Jan. 6 panel raised the alarm over the security fallout that could result from sharing the footage.
"When the Select Committee obtained access to U.S. Capitol Police video footage, it was treated with great sensitivity given concerns about the security of lawmakers, staff, and the Capitol complex,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who served as head of the Jan. 6 panel, said at the time.
“Access was limited to members and a small handful of investigators and senior staff, and the public use of any footage was coordinated in advance with Capitol Police. It’s hard to overstate the potential security risks if this material were to be used irresponsibly.”
This story was updated at 3:02 p.m.