Fox News veteran Geraldo Rivera slammed colleague Tucker Carlson on Thursday over “inflammatory” and “outrageous” claims in Carlson’s upcoming series claiming that the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol was secretly orchestrated by the government against itself.
“Messing around with Jan. 6 stuff … the record to me is pretty damn clear that there was a riot that was incited and encouraged and unleashed by Donald Trump,” Rivera said in an interview with The New York Times.
The three-part series featuring Carlson, “Patriot Purge,” is scheduled to begin Monday on Fox News’ streaming service, Fox Nation. A trailer released Wednesday included the baseless suggestion that the riot was a “false flag” operation — faked or orchestrated by the “Deep State” — to unfairly blame right-wingers.
The “left is hunting the right,” and “false flags have happened in this country — one of which may have been Jan. 6,” speakers claim in the trailer.
Rivera called the idea of Jan. 6 false flags “bullshit” in a tweet Thursday.
Nearly 700 people have been arrested on charges of breaching the Capitol grounds and building and related offenses Jan. 6, and millions of Americans watched the violence unfold live on TV.
To secretly fake or orchestrate such an event without any leaks would involve the biggest conspiracy in human history, roping in the FBI, various National Guard units, District of Columbia police and other police departments across the nation that aided in arrests. It would also include federal prosecutors, defense attorneys, court administrations, judges, politicians and scads of “operators” and “actors” pretending to be violent right-wingers.
Carlson called the series the “best thing we’ve ever done.”
Rivera characterized his colleague as “provocative” and “original.”
But, he added, “Man oh man, there are some things that you say that are more inflammatory and outrageous and uncorroborated. And I worry that — and I’m probably going to get in trouble for this — but I’m wondering how much is done to provoke rather than illuminate.”
Rivera called Carlson part of his Fox News “family” but said: “Sometimes you have to speak out about your family.”
Republican Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming also slammed Carlson and Fox News. Cheney said Fox was giving Carlson a “platform to spread the same type of lies that provoked violence on January 6.”