House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) confirmed he gave Tucker Carlson “exclusive” access to footage of the Jan. 6 insurrection after the Fox News host had “been asking for it,” the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
And according to McCarthy, any backlash over the decision from Democrats or the media is simply a matter of jealousy that they didn’t land the opportunity instead of Carlson.
“People like exclusives, and Tucker is some[one] that’s been asking for it. So I let him come in and see it, but everyone’s gonna get it,” McCarthy said. “It almost seems like the press is jealous. You know? And that’s interesting because every person in the press works off exclusives on certain things.”
Democrats have argued that their criticism stems from security concerns. But McCarthy argued that the Jan. 6 House committee had compromised security first by showing footage of his former office’s security exit during the hearings, without notifying him first.
Added McCarthy: “I was really concerned how Jan. 6 [committee] would pick and choose certain things. I’m not picking and choosing. I’m allowing everybody, just like any other story. If I provide an exclusive to one, you’re all going to watch more of it.”
The report states that the footage Carlson viewed will have to undergo a vetting process before he airs it on television. According to the Post, a spokesperson for Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), chair of the House Administration Committee’s oversight subcommittee, said that Carlson cannot record or take with him any of the footage he was shown.
The pundit’s left-wing counterparts have loudly criticized this privileged access, with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC warning that Carlson will use the “official government material to concoct an alternate narrative to give us some more convenient revisionist history about what happened on January 6.”