- Rep. Liz Cheney said the January 6 House select committee obtained texts from Fox News hosts.
- The messages were handed over by President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows.
- The messages implore Trump to speak out against the violence.
The Fox News host Laura Ingraham mocked police officers who testified about what they faced from a pro-Trump mob on January 6, suggesting they should win awards for “best performances” after recounting fears they would be killed or maimed.
But in a text message the day of the attack, released Monday by the House select committee investigating the attack, Ingraham herself expressed shock at the images coming from Capitol Hill.
“Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home,” Ingraham texted Mark Meadows, then President Donald Trump’s chief of staff. “This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.”
The exchange was brought to light by Rep. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican who is vice chair of the committee investigating January 6. The panel met Monday to recommend that Meadows be charged with criminal contempt for ending his cooperation with its investigation.
Before Meadows stopped helping investigators, however, Cheney said he had handed over text messages he received the day of the insurrection, including from other on-air Fox News personalities who asked for Trump to call off his supporters.
“Multiple Fox News hosts knew the president needed to act immediately,” Cheney said.
Brian Kilmeade, a cohost of the morning show “Fox & Friends,” echoed his colleague.
“Please get him on TV,” he texted Meadows. “Destroying everything you have accomplished.”
“Can he make a statement?” the host Sean Hannity wrote Meadows. “Ask people to leave the Capitol.”
Insider could not immediately reach Fox News about the text messages that Cheney read aloud.
Those were just some of many messages Cheney said Meadows turned over. Others came from people witnessing the January 6 attack in person, “imploring that Mr. Trump take this specific action his duty required,” Cheney said.
“We are under siege here at the Capitol,” one person texted.
“Mark, protesters are literally storming the Capitol, breaking windows on doors, rushing in. Is Trump going to say something?” another texted.
“Mark, he needs to stop this now,” another wrote, according to the committee.
“POTUS has to come out firmly and tell the protesters to dissipate. Someone is going to get killed,” another text said.
Another message, sent in all-caps: “TELL THEM TO GO HOME.”
And another: “POTUS needs to calm this shit down.”
It would take several hours before Trump would make a statement urging his supporters to go home. In the meantime, White House officials have said, he was watching the action unfold on television.
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