They Knew. They All Knew.
What Mark Meadow's text messages tell us
You’d think after all this time we’d have lost our ability to be stunned by anything that came out of the Trump White House 1.0. But the last few days…
Take a moment to listen to Liz Cheney. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
And while you are at it, you really should read the 51-page contempt report on the role that Mark Meadows played in the attempt to subvert the election.
Those Fox hosts
Leading the Bulwark this morning: Amanda Carpenter’s “Fox Hosts Begged Trump to Stop the January 6 Attack on the Capitol.”
Here’s the bottom-line: “Trump’s cheerleaders knew he could have stopped the riot. And they begged Mark Meadows to get him to do it.”
Turns out, some of former President Trump’s biggest, most powerful fans/informal advisors at Fox News knew he did something terrible on January 6. And so did his family. And members of Congress. And Trump administration officials.
They knew he was enabling the riot.
How do we know this? Because they explicitly begged his former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to ask Trump to take action to stop the riot in real-time texts as the destruction unfolded that day. These texts—which are devastating in their detail, and depict Fox hosts acting more as crisis communications consiglieres to the president than as journalists covering his administration—were revealed by the January 6 Committee at a contempt hearing for Meadows Monday evening.
Trump, of course, did not take any action to stop his mob from storming the Capitol. Meaning, he let it happen. He let them violently interfere with the peaceful transfer of power.
Today, many of those same supporters, including those on the airwaves at Fox, deny he could have done much of anything to stop the violence that day. But on January 6, they knew better. They knew the truth.
Well this is awkward for the folks at Fox. And it gets more awkward. Via the Wapo:
[The] texts stand in contrast with some of the messages that Ingraham, Hannity and Kilmeade sent to Fox News viewers in appearances on the night of Jan. 6.
While Ingraham that afternoon called the attack “disgraceful” and said that “the president needs to tell everyone to leave the building,” later that night, she suggested on-air that some of the rioters might have been left-wing agitators rather than Trump supporters. “I have never seen Trump rally attendees wearing helmets, black helmets, brown helmets, black backpacks — the uniforms you saw in some of these crowd shots,” she said.
Kilmeade made a similar point in an appearance that night on Fox. “I do not know Trump supporters that have ever demonstrated violence that I know of in a big situation,” he said.
While Hannity expressed his displeasure with the riot — “I don’t want to ever see our Capitol building breached like this ever again” — he also cast doubt about whether Trump supporters were largely responsible. Of the Jan. 6 participants, Hannity said that “the majority of them were peaceful.”
Hannity hosted Meadows on his Fox News show on Monday night but did not address his messages to the former Trump aide.
Aaron Blake highlighted the contrast between what they knew and what they said on the air:
On January 6, Laura Ingraham sent two texts to Meadows:. One read: “[Trump] needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy."
But that night, on the air, she lead with “ANTIFA sympathizers,” suggested that it was the work of “provocateurs,” and at one point suggested that the invasion of the Capitol involved only three dozen people. GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy corrected her: “It was more than three dozen.”
*I had some thoughts about Mark Meadows: