The January 6th committee voted unanimously (9-0) to recommend that the DOJ charge former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows with criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the committee. Before taking on the vote, the committee publicly disclosed that Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade texted Meadows during the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, pleading with Meadows to get then-President Donald Trump to address his supporters and tell them to stop the riot.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) read the texts aloud during the Monday hearing, which was taken live by CNN and MSNBC.
“Multiple Fox News hosts knew the president needed to act immediately,” said Cheney. “They texted Mr. Meadows and he has turned over those texts [to the committee].”
From Ingraham: “Mark, the President needs to tell people in the Capitol to go Home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.”
From Kilmeade: “Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished.”
From Hannity: “Can he make a statement, ask people to leave the Capitol.”
Donald Trump, Jr. also pushed for his dad to calm the rioters down, texting Meadows: “He’s got to condemn this shit ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.”
Full @RepLizCheney statement on holding Mark Meadows in contempt, including texts from Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Brian Kilmeade and others:
“These text messages leave no doubt…multiple Fox News hosts knew the president needed to act immediately. They texted Mr. Meadows.” pic.twitter.com/KxrVMS4CTZ
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 14, 2021
However, later that same day on Jan. 6, Hannity said on-air that “the majority of them were peaceful,” adding that he wanted to know who the “agitators” were.
“Apparently a standoff outside of the House door chambers. Not sure why, they knew this was coming,” he said on his radio program. “They knew there was going to be a march. They knew they were heading to the Capitol. I’m not surprised. I am surprised that they didn’t have more of a police presence there when they got there.”
Hannity condemned the violence on his Fox News show that night.
“Now, let me stop here and be crystal clear: those who truly support President Trump, those that believe they are part of the conservative movement in this country, you do not, we do not support those who commit acts of violence,” he said on Jan. 6 broadcast. “They–people we don’t believe should be vandalizing our nation’s Capitol, attacking the brave men and women that keep us safe in law enforcement. They don’t storm the Capitol.”
However, after Hannity’s show, Ingraham, on her show, seemed to dismiss the fact that the rioters were indeed Trump supporters, seeming to suggest that Antifa might have somehow been involved with the riot.
“I have never seen Trump rally attendees wearing helmets, black helmets, brown helmets. Black backpacks. The uniforms that you saw in some of these crowd shots. Have you ever seen them wearing … those knee pads and the, you know, all of the pads on their elbows?” she said. “I just, I mean, I’ve been to a lot of these rallies. I know you, you both have covered them. I have never seen that before. Ever.”
The following morning on Fox & Friends, Kilmeade remarked, “I do not know Trump supporters that have ever demonstrated violence that I know of in a big situation,” adding, “This is Americans attacking with their faces apparent and transparent while they sat in the speaker’s office. That clown should be arrested now, hopefully. And to put up a Trump flag and take down the American flag is not patriotic. One of the worst things I’ve ever seen.”
Hannity had Meadows on his Fox News show last night shortly after the texts were made public during the hearing. However, he did not bring up those messages he sent to Meadows on Jan. 6.
Ingraham didn’t bring up the texts on her 10 p.m. show, and there was no mention of the Fox News hosts’ texts to Meadows on Fox & Friends this morning. Kilmeade, one of the texters, co-hosts the show.
Fox News did not comment on the news last night, and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TVNewser about the news or whether the network plans on addressing this on-air.
*UPDATE: Fox News congressional correspondent Chad Pergram made very brief mention of the Fox News hosts’ texts to Meadows (without naming names) during Harris Faulkner‘s 11 a.m. show on Tuesday: “The committee revealed messages sent by Donald Trump Jr. and Fox hosts to Meadows during the riot. They implored the White House to convince the president to intervene and urge his supporters to stand down,” Pergram reported, adding, “Donald Trump Jr. wrote to Meadows, quote, ‘We need an oval office address. It has gone too far.”