U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and two Fox News hosts are sparring over the text messages the latter sent to former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff regarding the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Fox hosts Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity both commented on Cheney’s release of texts they made to Mark Meadows during and immediately after the invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6
Cheney is the the vice chair of the House select committee investigating the attack and during a committee meeting Monday, she read aloud from several texts sent to Meadows. The committee met as members advanced contempt of Congress charges against Meadows.
According to Cheney’s reading, Ingraham told Meadows that Trump was destroying his legacy by not telling the protestors to leave.
“Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home,” Ingraham texted Meadows that day. “This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.”
Cheney also read from a text sent to Meadows by Sean Hannity which asked if Trump could make a statement and tell the rioters to go home.
On Tuesday, Hannity said Cheney’s unveiling of the texts showed she was attempting to smear him.
“Surprise, surprise, surprise: I said to Mark Meadows the exact same thing I was saying live on the radio at that time and on TV that night on Jan. 6 and well beyond Jan. 6,” he said. “By the way, where is the outrage in the media over my private text messages being released again publicly? Do we believe in privacy in this country? Apparently not.”
Hannity added that he was an honest and straightforward person.
“Liz, let’s release your phone records and texts, and your family discussing Donald Trump, considering you’re so free to release everybody else’s,” Hannity said. “You’re a rock star now to the media mob, temporarily. They’ll turn on you again.”
Ingraham said that the media was trying to spin her message to Meadows and make her look like a liar.
“Of course, the regime media was somehow trying to twist this message to try to tar me as a liar [and] hypocrite, who privately sounded the alarm on Jan. 6, but publicly downplayed it,” she said.
Trump himself questioned Cheney’s willingness to work with the “radical left” after they tried to “destroy” her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, when he was in office.
“Isn’t it ironic that Liz Cheney is supporting the same people, Radical Left Democrats, that did everything possible to destroy her father when he was Vice President, and after? When they are finished using ‘Liz,’ they will destroy her also. This is all happening as her poll numbers have reached an all-time low in the Great State of Wyoming!” Trump said this week.
Cheney said Wednesday that Ingraham and Hannity were now reconfirming their stances about the Capitol attack being unjustified.
“Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham have now reconfirmed their views that the violence on January 6th was unjustified and unacceptable,” she wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
Cheney said Monday that the committee worked with Meadows’ legal counsel for weeks to get him to testify, but right before the scheduled hearing, Meadows reneged on the deal. She added that the contempt of Congress charge stems from his refusal to testify about the text messages he received on Jan. 6.
Meadows received numerous text messages from members of Congress, the press (including the Fox News hosts) and Trump’s own family, urging him to persuade Trump to take action and call off the rioters.
“These text messages leave no doubt that the White House knew exactly what was happening here at the Capitol,” Cheney said during the meeting.
Trump, an avid Twitter user at the time, took a significantly long time to address the rioters, many of whom were his supporters. When he did, it was described by some as a mild call for peace and a request for rioters to go home.