Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired footage of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Riot on Monday evening that appeared to show Capitol Police did not attempt to stop one of the leading demonstrators from reaching the Senate floor but rather escorted him to the chamber.
The footage shows Jacob Chansley, widely known as the QAnon Shaman, walking through the corridors of the U.S. Capitol with two members of the Capitol Police alongside him, according to the New York Post. The officers have not subdued him and he does not appear to have had his movement restricted via handcuffs.
Carlson, for his part, was livid at the behavior of the police force.
“The tapes show the Capitol police never stopped Jacob Chansley. They helped him. They acted as his tour guides,” Carlson lamented. Chansley received a 41-month sentence in connection with his role in the incident.
His outlandish dress and image appeared in much of the reporting on the riot and he ultimately became its most recognizable participant. Carlson also played interview footage in which Chansley indicated his belief that Capitol Police had allowed their entry and that his actions had been permissible.
“The one very serious regret that I have [is] believing that when we were waved in by police officers that it was acceptable,” Chansley says in the clip.
Carlson then asserts that Chansley “understood that the Capitol police were his allies,” before asking viewers “If he was in the act of committing such a grave crime, why didn’t the officers standing right next to him place him under arrest?”
The Fox News host then excoriated the legacy media for its selective, narrative driven reporting on the incident which made Chansley the riot’s public face and pushed a narrative that the incident was a violent attempt to overthrow democracy.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave Carlson exclusive access to roughly 41,000 hours of security footage related to the riot, which prompted outrage from the legacy media, who expressed concerns that Carlson would selectively present the material to support his own narrative. The California Republican asserted that such outlets were merely “jealous” he got the tapes.