Fox News host Tucker Carlson reported Tuesday on Republican Rep. Liz Cheney reading text messages from Fox News personalities to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during the Capitol riot during the Jan. 6 committee's meeting Monday.
The text messages, read aloud by Jan. 6 committee Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney on Monday, were among the nonprivileged records the panel received from Meadows and included missives from Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Brian Kilmeade urging Meadows to convince Trump to take action to stop the violence on Capitol Hill.
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Carlson said on his show that Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, read the sample of text messages Monday in the public view, just before the committee voted to hold Meadows in contempt for ceasing to cooperate with its investigation, to "humiliate" and "embarrass" the right-leaning anchors on national television.
"The point is to harm and humiliate the people you disagree with politically, and that is what they are doing," Carlson said. "Those texts showed no evidence of any crime whatsoever, but since she had them, Liz Cheney thought they might be embarrassing to conservatives, so she read them on television. Some of those texts it turns out were from anchors here at Fox News. Liz Cheney took special delight in reading those."
Carlson argued the text messages undercut what Cheney was trying to prove, which was that there was a difference between what was said on television and what was said in private text messages.
"These are principled people. What they say in public is not that far from what they say over text message," Carlson said. "If you get a text from Brian Kilmeade, it sounds pretty much identical to Brian Kilmeade on Fox & Friends. These are not phonies. We can personally confirm that. Whether you like them or not, they are real. So fox anchors on TV and in private opposed the BLM riots in the summer of 2020. Fox anchors opposed the riots on Capitol Hill in January of 2021. It turns out that anchors opposed riots. All riots. No matter who is rioting."
Hannity had Meadows on his show Monday night after the text messages were revealed but did not talk about them with his guest during the interview. He did address them on his radio show and Fox News program Tuesday.
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The Jan. 6 committee, which has two Republican members in Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, voted unanimously on Monday to advance contempt proceedings against Meadows. The full Democratic-controlled House was poised to vote on the resolution on Tuesday, which would make a criminal referral to the Justice Department.