Carlson claimed Graham was “ordering the Capitol police to murder the protesters.”
As senators evacuated the chamber, Graham yelled at the Senate sergeant-at-arms: “Take back the Senate! You’ve got guns. Use them,” according to an extensive Washington Post report about the insurrection published over the weekend. “We give you guns for a reason,” Graham reportedly added. “Use them.”
Graham’s office told Fox News the quotes were accurate.
“Shoot American citizens for the crime of trespassing. Really?” Carlson said, ignoring the fact that rioters were destroying federal property, violently assaulting police officers and threatening to murder the vice president.
Carlson continued: “This is the conservative position? Unarmed protesters show up – look, they shouldn’t have been there. We’ve never defended that and never would. But kill them? What the hell’s wrong with you, Lindsey Graham? How long before you’re ordering drone attacks on people whose politics you don’t like?”
Graham has been among the most devoted supporters of Donald Trump‘s politics. He helped spread the former president’s electoral fraud lies after the election, but said “count me out” after the insurrection.
Carlson’s view on police use of deadly force was different when the recipients were protesting law enforcement violence and not the legitimate results of a democratic election.
In August 2020, he defended teenager Kyle Rittenhouse for shooting three people, killing two, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after responding to a call from a local militia to help protect businesses against Black Lives Matter protesters.
“Are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder?” he said at the time, after accusing authorities of failing to enforce the law. “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”
Rittenhouse’s homicide trial began Monday.
Carlson has also been a loud advocate for Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who waved guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their home.
The prime time Fox News host, a leading purveyor of conspiracy theories and racism, recently released the first episode of a docuseries, “Patriot Purge,” which suggests, among other absurdities, that Jan. 6 may have been a “false flag” operation orchestrated by the government.