Don’t question the patriotism of the Jan. 6 rioter who allegedly said “hang the traitors” while on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, Tucker Carlson told his audience Friday.
Thomas Caldwell was among the eleven Oath Keepers charged with seditious conspiracy by the Justice Department on Thursday for allegedly plotting “to oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by force.” The Virginia man appeared on Carlson’s show that night, where the Fox News host pulled out all the stops to portray his prosecution as an embarrassment to the justice system. Carlson must have felt unsatisfied, though, because he did the same thing on Friday.
After describing the indictment against Caldwell, Carlson declared flatly that “he does not fit that description.” Why, exactly? As Tucker put it:
“He’s a senior citizen who walks with a cane. He’s a devout Christian. Try to picture Thomas Caldwell leading a bloodthirsty band of insurgents. You can’t, because he didn’t. Like every protester that day, Caldwell arrived at the event unarmed and, like the overwhelming majority, he committed no acts of violence.”
Carlson, who has held friendly interviews with Caldwell several times, wasn’t done there.
Caldwell “spent most of his life in honorable government service, including twenty years as a naval officer,” Carlson continued. “He retired with 100 percent physical disability. In fact, if anyone seems like a thoroughly loyal American, it’s Thomas Caldwell. There’s no question he likes this country much more than Susan Rice does or Tony Blinken.”
According to the Justice Department, though, the nature of Caldwell’s actions is far from what Carlson would care to admit. In addition to sedition, Caldwell is charged with conspiracy, destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding, violent entry or disorderly conduct, and entering a restricted building. He is alleged to have staged a “quick reaction force” at a hotel in Arlington, Virginia, “should things go high order,” and to have conspired to bring in heavy weapons across the Potomac River to the Capitol.
“How many people either in the militia or not (who are still supportive of our efforts to save the Republic) have a boat on a trailer that could handle a Potomac crossing?” Caldwell texted someone believed to be connected to the Three Percenters, an anti-government movement, prosecutors say.
“If we had someone standing by at a dock ramp (one near the Pentagon for sure) we could have our Quick Response Team with the heavy weapons standing by, quickly load them and ferry them across the river to our waiting arms,” he is said to have written.
Once the Jan. 6 riot got underway, according to the court filing, Caldwell describes his response:
“Then we heard Pence fucked us. Wr [sic] had over a million oeople [sic] here. Then the lying media said Trump supporters were breaking through barricades so I said if we’re going to get blamed, might as well do it so I grabbed up my American flag and said let’s take the damn capitol. So people started surging forward and climbing the scaffolding outside so I said lets storm the place and hang the traitors. Everybody thought that was a good idea so we did.”
None of this seems to conflict with how Carlson sees Caldwell, and given the host’s conspiracy theories about Jan. 6 as propagated on his show and in his absurd documentary, he likely won’t change his mind.
In fact, when a guest on his Friday broadcast said he thought that those on the House Jan. 6 committee “can all go to hell,” Carlson replied, “Me too.”