Updated Feb 28, 2023 - Politics & Policy

McCarthy defends giving out Jan. 6 tapes

Kevin McCarthy speaks on Nov. 3, 2021, in Washington, DC. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) defended his decision Tuesday to give Fox News' Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of Capitol footage from the Jan. 6 riot.

The big picture: McCarthy, who dodged reporters on the topic Monday, is facing backlash from top congressional Democrats who say it could reveal sensitive security information about the Capitol.

  • Meanwhile, several news organizations are requesting access to the same footage given to Carlson.

What he's saying: "It almost seems like the press is jealous," McCarthy told the Washington Post. "And that’s interesting because every person in the press works off exclusives on certain things."

  • “People like exclusives, and Tucker is someone that’s been asking for it," he added, referring to a host who has spread baseless conspiracy theories about Jan. 6. "So I let him come in and see it, but everyone’s gonna get it."

Of note: Lawyers for Capitol riot defendants will be granted access to the footage, McCarthy’s office announced Tuesday, per CNN.

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