Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) made public on Monday text messages sent to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows from multiple Fox News hosts and Donald Trump Jr., urging him on Jan. 6 to get then-President Donald Trump to denounce his supporters participating in the Capitol riot.
Cheney is the vice chair of the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack, and shared the messages before the panel voted to hold Meadows in contempt for defying their subpoena. Meadows had been cooperating with lawmakers, turning over thousands of documents to the panel from Jan. 6, but then pulled back, claiming the committee wanted him to discuss matters protected under executive privilege.
Cheney read several text messages sent to Meadows on Jan. 6, all of them urgent, imploring Meadows to get Trump to take action. Fox News host Laura Ingraham texted Meadows, "Hey Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home ... this is hurting all of us ... he is destroying his legacy." Another Fox News host, Brian Kilmeade, told Meadows, "Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished." Sean Hannity, a Fox News host and Trump friend, asked Meadows, "Can he make a statement? ... Ask people to leave the Capitol."
The pleas were also coming in from Trump relatives, including his eldest son, who asked Meadows to get his father to "condemn this s--t ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough." Meadows responded, "I'm pushing it hard. I agree." Trump Jr. replied, "We need an Oval address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand."
Several hours after the rioters breached the Capitol, Trump released a video where he asked people to "go home," while still claiming the 2020 presidential election was "fraudulent." He added, "We love you. You're very special. ... I know how you feel."