January 6th protesters like the so-called "QAnon shaman" were "destroyed" by a false narrative that some "weak" Republicans continue to defend, Tucker Carlson told viewers of his top-rated Fox News show Wednesday night.
Carlson singled out "vicious" Republicans like Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who have condemned Carlson for sharing new video of the heavily politicized Capitol protest.
"Weak men are vicious men, and these are weak men whose attitudes towards an individual whose life has been destroyed on the basis of false and withheld evidence is vicious," Carlson said.
Critics in the media and both political parties have accused Carlson of "downplaying" the riot by airing previously unseen, authentic video tape of protesters calmly walking through the Capitol chambers.
The Republican criticism has been led by McConnell, who called Carlson's reporting a "mistake." Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) used an obscenity to describe Carlson's claim that most of the protesters were "sightseers" who drifted through open doors.
"I think it’s bull---t," he said.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who called for rioters to be shot as the Capitol protest unfolded, said Carlson was "whitewashing" the truth.
To Carlson's credit, only a fraction of the roughly 1,000 January 6th defendants are charged with violent crimes like assaulting police.
Some of the new video Carlson aired showed Jacob Chansley, the so-called "QAnon shaman" who became the widely publicized face of the "insurrection," being casually escorted by police.
Carlson accused Republicans like McConnell and "BLM superfan" Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) of helping Democrats perpetuate falsehoods that have been used to "crush" Trump voters like Chansley, who was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for a non-violent offense.
"They're not loyal to their voters. They are loyal to each other, and they're willing to lie, really lie and crush people," Carlson said.
Carson has not denied that violence occurred, but he says the videos depict "mostly peaceful chaos," and not the dramatic "insurrection" that politicians and journalists have described repeatedly over the past two years.
"They selectively picked small segments of tape to convince Americans that January 6th was something that it wasn't," Carlson said. "It was awful. We would not defend that. We hate vandalism, we hate assault. Was it a violent insurrection? It was not."
While prominent Republicans have attacked Carlson, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has defended his controversial decision to give Carlson exclusive access to the footage.
“I said at the very beginning, transparency," McCarthy said.