House Speaker Kevin McCarthy defended on Tuesday his decision to give Tucker Carlson the Jan. 6 tapes, fiercely responding to a CNN reporter who questioned him.
CNN reporter Manu Raju asked McCarthy whether he regrets giving Carlson the tapes, accusing the Fox News host of using the footage to "whitewash" what happened on Jan. 6, 2021. McCarthy was clear that he does not.
"No," the California Republican responded.
"I said at the very beginning, 'Transparency.' And so what I wanted to produce for everybody is exactly what I said, people can actually look at it and see what's gone on that day," he explained.
When the reporter asked McCarthy if he agrees with Carlson's reporting, McCarthy responded, "Each person can come up with their own conclusion."
That's when McCarthy zeroed in on CNN for allegedly exposing the secret location where congressional leadership fled on Jan. 6.
"I just wanted to make sure I had transparency, because I know on CNN, I mean, I had here where you guys actually wrote where we were," McCarthy said. "This was a secret location: Fort McNair. I don’t know if you got concerned by that. I don't even know from a point of view of security if we could ever be taken there again.
"But when you broke that at CNN, that was a real concern to a lot of people," he added, referring to transparency in media.
Interestingly, McCarthy also revealed that he consulted the Capitol Police before releasing the tapes to ensure sensitive material was not released. He said the Capitol Police only raised concern about one piece of footage, which was protected before its release.
On the other hand, the Capitol Police told McCarthy that the Jan. 6 committee did not consult with the agency before it released footage.
Last October, CNN exclusively reported that congressional leadership had established a command center at Fort McNair in Washington, publishing additional footage not shown by the Jan. 6 committee.
The committee had shown footage of lawmakers gathering there, but the committee did not disclose the exact location. Instead, it labeled the footage as having taken place at an "undisclosed location," according to CNN.
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