DC police officer hits back at Fox News hosts for mocking his Capitol riot testimony

Michael Fanone says people like Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson helped create a climate in which the insurrection could occur

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 28 July 2021 21:13 BST
Tucker Carlson laughs when officer says he was traumatised by Capitol riots

DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone – who spoke to a House panel about his experience during the Capitol riot – fired back after Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham mocked him and his fellow officers.

Mr Fanone and several other officers testified on Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot. Mr Fanone shared that he had been beaten, dragged down the Capitol stairs, shocked numerous times by a stun gun, and suffered a concussion as well as a mild heart attack. He told the lawmakers that the events had left him traumatised.

Carlson laughed after playing the clip of Mr Fanone making that claim, suggesting it would be more appropriate if he had been traumatised from the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

His colleague, Laura Ingraham, gave sarcastic awards to the various officers and politicians for their "performances," cynically suggesting the participants were exaggerating or being disingenuous in their testimonies.

Mr Fanone appeared on CNN on Wednesday morning to discuss the hearing, and was asked by anchor John Berman what he thought about the comments made by the Fox News hosts.

The officer recalled other moments he had sat in court during the course of his duties, and noted that he "always felt most comfortable when defence attorneys resorted to theatrical tactics because I knew that they no longer had facts to support their argument, and so they had to insult me, insult my appearance, or, you know, try to chip away at my credibility."

He said in the case of his testimony, there were "hundreds of hours of videotape" to back up his words, as well as eyewitness testimony, calling the facts indisputable. He said he "couldn't care less" if Fox News hosts or other critics wanted to try to disparage him over his neck tattoos or alleged he is a member of Antifa.

“What does concern me is the fact that you know, those entertainers have an audience, and that audience takes their words and, you know, the rhetoric that they use as more than just entertainment,” Mr Fanone said. “They think it’s real.”

He then suggested that it was people like Ingraham and Carlson who helped create a climate in which the insurrection could occur.

“That thought process has real-life consequences,” he said. “And we saw the result of that on 6 January.”

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