Former Clinton White House and feminist author Naomi Wolf this week issued a “formal letter of apology” to Republicans and conservatives after believing what she described as “lies” about the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach.
Wolf, who drew headlines in 2021 and 2022 for questioning official narratives about COVID-19 vaccines and lockdowns, wrote that “peaceful Republicans and conservatives as a whole have been demonized by the story told by Democrats in leadership of what happened that day” after new footage of the Capitol breach was aired by Fox News host Tucker Carlson last week. Wolf was a vocal opponent of COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccine mandates, causing Twitter’s former management to suspend her account before it was reinstated several months ago.
“Republicans, conservatives, I am sorry. I also believed wholesale so much else that has since turned out not to be as I was told it was by NPR, MSNBC and the New York Times,” Wolf wrote on Substack. “Anyone in leadership who misrepresented to the public the events of the day so as to distort the complexity of its actual history—must also be held accountable,” she wrote.
In her missive, Wolf said that newly released footage of “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley and U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick on Jan. 6 appear to go against narratives that were pushed by the mainstream and many Democrat lawmakers. The new footage appears to show officers appearing to walk Chansley through the grounds of the Capitol, while none tried to stop him or arrest him, while Sicknick, who died of a stroke a day later, was seen in a short new clip walking around and motioning protesters to leave the premises.
While she disagreed with some of Carlson’s conclusions about the footage, people don’t have to necessarily agree with his interpretation of the videos, “to conclude that the Democrats in leadership, for their own part, have cherry-picked, hyped, spun, and in some ways appear to have lied about, aspects of January 6, turning a tragedy for the nation into a politicized talking point aimed at discrediting half of our electorate.”
“You don’t have to agree with Carlson’s interpretation of the videos, to notice the latest hypocrisy by the Left,” Wolf added. “My acquaintance and personal hero Daniel Ellsberg was rightly lionized by the Left for having illegally leaked the Pentagon Papers. The New York Times was rightly applauded for having run this leaked material in 1971.”
She later added that “those who violently entered the Capitol or who engaged in violence inside of it, must of course be held accountable” and “as must violent protesters of every political stripe anywhere.”
Her apology came after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) released thousands of hours of footage to Carlson’s team, saying that the videos will be released to the wider public at a later date. Democrat members of Congress and some Senate Republicans have resoundingly criticized the move to release the footage.
Last week, before he was hospitalized with a concussion, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took issue with Carlson’s conclusions. “It was a mistake, in my view, for Fox News to depict this in a way that’s completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here at the Capitol thinks,” McConnell told reporters.
But a top Republican House lawmaker said that the release of the footage was limited in scope. A number of news outlets have called on McCarthy and other congressional leaders to give them the Jan. 6 tapes, too.
“It’s basically controlled access to be able to view tapes. Can’t record, can’t take anything with you,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), the chairman of the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight, told reporters in late February. “Then they will request any particular clips that—that they may need, and then we’ll make sure that there’s nothing sensitive, nothing classified—you know, escape routes.”
During an interview with Carlson on March 10, Chansley’s mother Martha and his current lawyer proclaimed that he is innocent and claimed prosecutors hid exculpatory evidence.
“It should have come out two years ago. That [clip] should have come out two years ago. He’s an innocent man. Everything that [Jacob] said that he did is true—that he walked through open doors. He was escorted through the halls of the Senate,” Martha Chansley proclaimed.
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