Fox News host Tucker Carlson lambasted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Wednesday for the unforgivable sin of calling the Capitol insurrection a “violent terrorist attack,” accusing the ultra-conservative lawmaker of “repeating the talking points that Merrick Garland has written.”
Cruz, one of eight GOP senators who objected to the certification of President Joe Biden’s election on Jan. 6, 2021, drew the wrath of the MAGA faithful on Wednesday when he described the storming of the U.S. Capitol in stark terms.
“We are approaching a solemn anniversary this week,” Cruz said in a Senate Rules Committee hearing. “And it is an anniversary of a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol, where we saw the men and women of law enforcement demonstrate incredible courage, incredible bravery, risk their lives for the Capitol.”
Those comments did not sit well with Carlson, who has led the charge in downplaying the Jan. 6 riots while suggesting the Capitol attack is a “false flag” orchestrated by federal agents in an effort to “purge” conservative Americans.
The far-right Fox News star kicked off his show Wednesday night by first taking aim at Attorney General Merrick Garland for calling the Trump-incited riot “an unprecedented attack on the seat of our democracy.” After criticizing the attorney general for vowing to hold those responsible for Jan. 6 accountable, Carlson insinuated that the Department of Justice was purposely not pursuing certain suspects involved in the riots.
“He did not mention the pipe bomber,” Carlson declared, referencing the unidentified individual who left explosive devices near the U.S. Capitol. “That individual was caught on surveillance tape. The pipe bomber was on a phone several times. That’s traceable. Where is that person? Merrick Garland did not mention that.”
The conservative host went on to mention another individual present at the attacks who hasn’t been arrested or charged, wondering aloud why no Republican senator “seems to care” that the person is not on the DOJ’s radar anymore.
“What are they busy doing? Repeating the talking points that Merrick Garland wrote for them,” he seethed before airing a clip of Cruz decrying the Jan. 6 attack.
“Now let’s be honest,” Carlson proclaimed. “Everyone who’s conservative appreciates Ted Cruz. You may not like him. But you’ve gotta appreciate him. He’s legitimately smart. He’s one of the more articulate people to serve in Congress, maybe the most articulate.”
Claiming Cruz “doesn’t use a single word by accident,” Carlson noted that Cruz is a “lawyer” and “every word” the senator says is “used intentionally.” He then mocked the notion that anyone could rationally think it’s an insurrection when a seditious mob violently storms the seat of government to overthrow an election.
“He described Jan. 6 as a violent terrorist attack. Of all the things Jan. 6 was, it was definitely not a violent terrorist attack. It wasn’t an insurrection,” Carlson exclaimed. “Was it a riot? Sure. It was not a violent terrorist attack. Sorry! So why are you telling us it was, Ted Cruz?”
He concluded: “What the hell’s going on here? You’re making us think, maybe the Republican Party is as worthless as we suspected it was. That can’t be true. Reassure us, please, Ted Cruz.”