Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex. (right).
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas went on the most viewed Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Thursday to apologize for telling the truth on Wednesday.
Cruz, who was criticized by Carlson and other GOP figures earlier this week for calling the January 6 insurrection “a violent terrorist attack,” quickly tried to walk back his remarks in a series of apologies and concessions to the primetime host.
—Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 7, 2022
“Well, Tucker, thank you for having me on,” Cruz said in his Fox News appearance. “When you aired your episode last night, I sent you a text shortly thereafter and said, listen, I’d like to go on because the way I phrased things yesterday was sloppy, and it was frankly dumb—”
Carlson quickly cut Cruz off.
“I don’t buy that — whoah whoah whoah, I don’t buy that — look, I’ve known you a long time since before you went to the Senate,” Carlson said. “You were a Supreme Court contender. You take words as seriously as any man who’s ever served in the Senate.”
“I do not believe that you used that accidentally,” Carlson added. “I just don’t.”
Cruz attempted to explain that he was only referring to “the limited number of people who engaged in violent attacks against police officers,” but that did not satisfy Carlson, who has taken an extreme and factually meritless stance that the insurrection was an inside job by the government in an effort to persecute conservatives.
“Wait a second, hold on, what you just said doesn’t make sense,” Carlson said. “So if somebody assaults a cop, they should be charged and go to jail. But that person is still not a terrorist.”
Carlson also distorted the issue by asking Cruz how many people at the Capitol that day have been charged with terrorism. While more than 300 people have been charged by the Department of Justice in connection to the Capitol riot, charging a US citizen with terrorism is not as simple as Carlson made it out to be, even under the framework of the Patriot Act.
Before heading off-air, Cruz made one final attempt at a mea culpa, saying, “I agree it was a mistake to use the word yesterday, because the Democrats and the corporate media have so politicized it.”
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