• The material reportedly includes footage taken from multiple camera angles from all over Capitol grounds
  • Tucker Carlson said his producers are reviewing the footage
  • Clips will be aired next week, he added

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has given Fox News host Tucker Carlson exclusive access to a massive trove of Capitol surveillance footage from the Jan. 6 riot.

Carlson, who once called the attack an "outbreak of mob violence, a forgettably minor outbreak by recent standards," said the footage is being reviewed by his producers and clips will be aired next week, according to the New York Post.

"So, there are about 44,000 hours. And we have, you may have heard this, we've been granted access to that, and we believe that access is unfettered. We believe we have secured the right to see whatever we want to see," Carlson said Monday on his show "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

"...Some of our smartest producers have been there, looking at this stuff and trying to figure out what it means and how it contradicts or not the story that we've been told for more than two years," he added.

The material handed over to Carlson includes footage taken from multiple camera angles from all over Capitol grounds, Axios reported.

"[T]here was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret," Carlson told the outlet.

"If there was ever a question that's in the public's interest to know, it's what actually happened on January 6. By definition, this video will reveal it. It's impossible for me to understand why any honest person would be bothered by that," he said further.

McCarthy's unusual move of handing the footage over to a media outlet was criticized by many, who believe Carlson would use it to strengthen his narrative of downplaying the incident.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) tweeted, "McCarthy giving 40,000 hrs of Jan. 6 tape to a pro-Putin journalist is an astounding ethical collapse. What security precautions were taken to keep this from becoming a roadmap for 2024 insurrection? Why isn't it available to all media & public? Smell the MAGA propaganda coming."

Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, wrote, "Speaker Kevin McCarthy giving exclusive access to many hours of January 6 Capitol security footage to Tucker Carlson, who has consistently downplayed the insurrection, is irresponsible and shows McCarthy's lack of regard for protecting democracy."

On the other hand, far-right figures lauded the news.

Donald Trump Jr., son of former President Donald Trump, said, "Awesome! Incidentally, when I did my Triggered podcast interview with @SpeakerMcCarthy he had mentioned, as we chatted afterwards, that he was trying to get all the footage to make sure it got out. This has been in the works, but great that it's happening!"

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) noted, "For all of you that doubted we would release the tapes. Here you go! I'm very happy to be right again in my support for Kevin McCarthy as our Speaker. Americans deserve to see the truth, not a one sided narrative and unfair two tiered justice system."

Before becoming Speaker of the House last month, McCarthy said in his bid for speakership that he would hold hearings on the security failures during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

He also accused Democrats of politicizing the investigation during a press conference last month and said footage from the incident should be made available to the public.

"I think the public should see what has happened on that," McCarthy said at the time. "We watched the politicization of this. I think the American public should actually see all what happened instead of a report that's written for a political basis."

House Homeland Security Committee ranking Democrat Bennie Thompson (Miss.) slammed McCarthy's move of handing the footage over to Carlson.

"It's hard to overstate the potential security risks if this material were to be used irresponsibly," Thompson said Monday.

"If Speaker McCarthy has indeed granted Tucker Carlson — a Fox host who routinely spreads misinformation and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's poisonous propaganda — and his producers access to this sensitive footage, he owes the American people an explanation of why he has done so and what steps he has taken to address the significant security concerns at stake," Thompson continued in his statement.

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In his new series, Fox News host Tucker Carlson (pictured March 2019) worries about 'the total collapse of testosterone levels in American men' GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA via AFP / CHIP SOMODEVILLA