Marjorie Taylor Greene Admits Kevin McCarthy Should Have Considered National Security before Harming It

CNN reports that in a GOP leadership meeting, concerns were (anonymously) expressed about the way that Kevin McCarthy gave exclusive access to sensitive security footage from the Capitol to a self-described fan of Vladimir Putin, Tucker Carlson.

[S]ome lawmakers in the closed-door leadership meeting asked whether sensitive security protocols or certain evacuation routes would be exposed by taking that step.

Others questioned how long the footage is going to be dragged out in the press, with some lawmakers concerned about the optics of appearing to try to downplay a deadly insurrection in the US Capitol.

“Let’s just rip the Band-aid off and get this over with,” one GOP lawmaker told CNN.

Sources said McCarthy assured his leadership team that he wants to move swiftly, but said they need to be deliberate about how they handle it to ensure the release does not endanger their security.

Remarkably, it was Marjorie Taylor Greene who had to voice, on the record, the potential danger of showing where the secure back hallways of the Capitol were.

[Marge] told CNN she played a role in McCarthy’s decision to turn the footage over to Carlson, but she wouldn’t go into further detail.

Greene, who was not in the Monday night meeting, said she’s spoken with McCarthy, and that the speaker’s office is coordinating a process for how to release the footage more widely, beyond Fox News, while also ensuring it doesn’t violate any security concerns.

“We can’t give away our national security,” Greene said, “Everyone in Congress agrees. And I think the American people agree. We don’t want Russia or China or any of these other countries being able to study all the entries and exits of our capital. That’s foolish.”

Greene told CNN that Carlson’s team was also given certain parameters for what they could and couldn’t air. “Yes … of course (there were parameters) they’re being extremely careful and responsible.”

Except no one cited in this article — not Marge, not Elise Stefanik (who showed less understanding about the security concerns than Marge), and not CNN itself — raised the problem here.

Kevin McCarthy has already shared this sensitive video with someone that — as a Gang of Eight member — he must know was in discussions about setting up a back channel with Putin, purportedly a long-term effort to set up an interview. Tucker’s own FOIA suggests that effort extended for at least thirty months, as of July 2021. Tucker continues to proudly root for Putin.

The problem is not, just, in Tucker airing surveillance footage that compromises the security of the Capitol. It’s not just that Russian spies might watch Tucker Carlson and decide how to attack the Capitol.

The problem is also that Tucker will either give it to Putin, or store it insecurely and make it available to Russian hackers, a means of obtaining sensitive records that Russia has used in the past.

One of the first things Kevin McCarthy did as Speaker was to give exclusive access to security information to someone openly rooting for Putin, someone who has launched hostile operations against US democracy in recent years.

And McCarthy is only now considering the security implications of having done so.

41 replies
  1. Fraud Guy says:

    I mean, how often have Republicans given someone they knew to be a Russian asset access to sensitive information…

    • Sloth Sloman says:

      Given that everything that comes out of their mouths is projection, I’m now wondering about that McCarthy quote from the primaries saying that Trump is on Putin’s payroll.

      Jesus, that was about 7 years ago… It feels like I’ve aged 20 since then.

  2. PeteT0323 says:

    If Capitol security is such a concern as it should be, begs an old question again that I do not think was ever adequately answered.

    Who was giving Capitol tours – and to whom – prior to Jan 6?

    • Just Some Guy says:

      Well here’s one. From Kyle D. Cheney:

      “Everyone accused of a crime in this country deserves due process, which includes access to evidence which may be used to prove their guilt or innocence,” said Rep. Barry LOUDERMILK, who is overseeing the process.

      It’s unclear if the Justice Department has requested similar access.

      Also notable: Loudermilk is intimately familiar with the Jan. 6 committee’s release of surveillance footage — he was in some of it leading a tour through Capitol offices on Jan. 5.

    • Konny_2022 says:

      “Who was giving Capitol tours – and to whom – prior to Jan 6?”

      Exactly. That question has been also on my mind since I saw, two years ago, a Twitter thread with a picture showing Marjorie Taylor Greene with a group in front of an office door in the Capitol with the plate “Nancy Pelosi.” I had kept a screenshot since I’m not (and have never been) on Twitter myself. If not fake, it must have been taken during the time when Greene was Rep-elect. (I don’t even know if Reps-elect are allowed to give tours.)

      Anyway, I would like to learn more about the answer to your question, too.

  3. Tom-1812 says:

    Sure sounds like Marjorie Taylor Greene is beginning to understand the meaning of the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.” Someone should give her a copy of W.W. Jacobs’ classic short story, “The Monkey’s Paw”.

    • John B. says:

      I sincerely doubt that “common sense” is what has happened to the rep from northern GA. My guess she’s reptilian enough to know that this gift to Tucker and Faux news will backfire on the party and she is now getting cold feet about that…

      • Cheez Whiz says:

        More like a flickering of the concept of “unintended consequences”. It’s almost charming that she imagines the Commies need video to learn about the architecture of the Capital.

    • Lake Cities says:

      Unlike Trump, Marge doesn’t have the luxury of believing “let them through, they’re not coming for me”.

        • timbozone says:

          You don’t believe anyone has ever threatened physical harm to Marjorie Green? Pretty sure there’s enough misogyny to go around out there…

        • bmaz says:

          So, you are arguing that childish attempted “swatting” of a sitting US Congresswoman is the equivalent of direct documented death threats? Seriously?

        • Just Some Guy says:

          No, I’m not making a comparison. I’m going off of timbozone’s comment, which was called a “strawman argument” by earlofhuntingdon:

          “You don’t believe anyone has ever threatened physical harm to Marjorie Green?”

          The swatting attempts, such as they are, are documented and verifiable. And could lead to physical harm.

          I have no knowledge of direct documented death threats, nor was attempting to argue that they have been made against her, so please do not misrepresent my comment. Thanks.

        • bmaz says:

          So, you are going to equate that as to MTG with the legitimate attempts and threats against the top two state officers in Michigan? Seriously??

        • timbozone says:

          The matter of a stable, egalitarian-ish modern democracy doesn’t involve ignoring things like misogynist violence. I don’t have an affinity for MTG’s politics whatsoever, but I also don’t live under some quaint illusion that any women in the US Congress has not been subjected to death threats by misogynists at some point in the historically recent past. The argument above was about whether there were credible death threats made or not. I submit to you, earlofhuntington, that there likely were/are. Your opinion is that there likely were not, correct? Or what? Seriously.

          Looking back at the obsessiveness of the hatred for Nancy Pelosi. Some of it was on policy. (And at least there was some clear elucidation on the issue here at this site; hate the individual’s policy, not the gender!) But there were plenty of nutsos misogynists who went along for the “I hate Pelosi!” ride. And I’m sure the same goes for any women in the US Congress that keeps a relatively high profile…and likely for most or all those who try to stay out of the limelight as well.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        It would seem naive to assume that MTG’s pretense of being a victim represents the reality of threats against her, as opposed to the threats of violence faced by say, AOC, from the right.

        • theartistvvv says:

          And the attacker of Mr. Pelosi was looking for his wife …

          I feel compelled to speculate that someone told MTG what to say, BTW – I just can’t believe that she had any such analytical thought.

        • timbozone says:

          So, if a woman has one credible death threat against her she should just be okay with that because some other woman has a hundred credible death threats? Trying to wrap my head around what you are implying/saying here…

  4. Lois says:

    Large Marge, (lolol) is the biggest lying hypocrite. Just take a look at her most recent post where she complains about being treated the way she has treated others. I may be cynical but she has raised this issue now so that Kevin has an excuse not to release to all the other media. National security blah blah blah BUT too late to close the barn door with Carlson.

  5. Lady4Real says:

    A J6 judge has allowed defendant, Ryan Nichols, to “scour” 44,000 hours of the footage to aid in his defense. He is currently under house arrest under the supervision of his wife. What could go wrong on his end of that transaction? This 44,000 hours of footage is about to become widely available and very public.

    • eyesoars says:

      Does the judge imagine the defendant will find footage of himself helping little old ladies out of the house and senate chambers? Helping Mike Pence and his Secret Service escort evade the crowd? One wonders. [Mostly about when drugs to actually, effectively treat Alzheimer’s Disease might arrive.]

      • Eschscholzia says:

        I deal with getting thousands of hours of acoustic detector recordings, and a few hundred thousand still images, analyzed for much simpler to define patterns (e.g., “is that a frog?”). If federal judges are anywhere close to as smart as BMAZ says, I imagine the judge thinking “knock yourself out” when agreeing to this request (the prosecutors and FBI are even more likely to think that about this request).

        tl;dr: that’s a whole lot of haystack to filter through manually, looking for something happening around Ryan or capitol police letting insurrectionists in or something that you might know when you see it. Unlike in my field, machine learning isn’t particularly useful for this kind of searching. Even clever strategies would require person-months of mind-numbing tedious effort.
        {I’ll stick details in a reply because I was serious about the “tl”}

        • Eschscholzia says:

          44K hours is 1000-2000 cameras, depending on whether the feed is just Jan 6 or also incudes Jan 5. Even the 14K hours of video with something happening is 1.59 years of video for the defendant to process.

          _If_ I knew where I had been, and _if_ the footage was delivered with an index and complete map of the location and orientation of every single camera (a large security issue, so very doubtful), I might be able to cut that down to 1000 hours focused on what I was doing and what was happening in the similar areas around me (e.g., other hallways or other offices). I might be able to start by watching every 4th or 5th camera to find potentially interesting “events”, then jump to the same time on the intervening cameras to get multiple angles of whatever was happening. I might be able to watch 2 or 4 feeds at once without frying my mind. By being very clever, I might be able to cut the time needed down to a couple hundred hours with only minimal risk of missing something important and useful (if it exists).

          I would be hard pressed to process 3 2-hour bursts per day, so that’s still 40-50 days looking at just the subset of areas where I had been.

          If all I had was a unique ID for each camera (or a single continuous feed file per camera) but no locations, if the hallways have slightly different wall colors or lighting, I _might_ be able to assemble the 1000-2000 piece jigsaw puzzle of which cameras are adjacent to each other within a week or 2, then proceed with the above. If I have to wait to find a person going down a hallway, and map cameras by when that unique person or group appears on each, that puzzle is going to take even longer to assemble.

          I only expect the defendant to have access to the right hardware and software if the agreement is that while on house arrest he can visit a government facility with the hardware and recordings (as the J6 committee staff did). Even then, effective software isn’t easy and easy software isn’t effective for so many feeds, and there are a lot of inefficient search strategies. Investigators are trained and know what they are doing, and the FBI and Capitol Security folks have the ability to do a whole lot more with automated image processing, as they’re looking for very different things.

          If the defendant has to scour the video himself, I see him going blind, crazy, or giving up within a month or 2. [I also don’t expect any high quality “Squirrels!” from Carlson any time soon, even if Fox can put a bunch of staff on it.]

    • Sue 'em Queequeg says:

      I’ve been wondering about that as well. I keep seeing 41k, and more recently 44k. This inflation thing is having broader effects than I realized.

      Also, I thought the access was limited to viewing, not actual provision of the video files.

      Surprising in a way MTG didn’t mention the importance of keeping security information out of the hands of Antifa.

      • Konny_2022 says:

        “I’ve been wondering about that as well. I keep seeing 41k, and more recently 44k.”

        Same here. I think the 14k number was related to what the Capitol police gave to I don’t remember whom (J6C or DOJ?). Then I thought the 41k number might have been transposed digits, but now 44k …

        What I found funny in the meantime was that Tucker Carlson said, his aides or representatives or whoever would look at the footage “over the weekend,” and then he would decide what to do with it. Watching 41K hours footage means watching four and a half years nonstop 24/7. How many people would be needed to do it over a single weekend? And how long would their exchange about the findings take? The only plausible answer (at least to me) is that Carlson is looking for some specifics for whatever purpose. What that might be is beyond my imagination.

  6. Kurtyboy says:

    Alex Wagner’s show just explained. The 14k hours are the ones Capital Police say are pertinent (sounded like pertinence to J6 defendants). The other 30k hours have no relevant information—motionless frames, I guess?

    • esqTJE@23 says:

      I’d guess the non-relevant hours of footage are of hallways, tunnels, and other corridors that were not traversed by anyone other than Capitol staff, Reps, or journalists — anyone with permission to be there (non-trespassers). . . or of minutes/hours (times on video) of any camera-capturable-location when no traversing was occuring (assuming cameras film 24/7 and are not motion activated). Places where, or times when, no J6 defendant COULD have gone, or no ‘civilian’ / trespasser DID go, would not be relevant to any J6 defendant’s case. Have there been any reports about how many of those 14 / 41 / or 44 K footage hours are ’empty’?

      Curious why Tucker’s folks would need or desire access to that empty (no one present), or full-of-only-non-tresspassers-footage, too. For the latter, I’d guess one purpose would be to make fun of a lib Rep’s habits or quirks as they evacuate. (?) Anyone trip down the stairs, pick their nose, or zip up their forgotten fly, while passing a camera? Any snaps here or there that could be selectively edited to embarrass Tucker’s ‘enemies’ or demo a lib acting non-WOKE? Gotcha!

      Is it fair to assume that Faux News usage could potentially be in bad faith? Or am I paranoid from reading the Dominion filings? (which I highly recommend if you crave enthralling dinner conversation or to fill up small-talk voids while on public transit, during teen carpool, at office water coolers, or in boring all-hands meetings).

      • timbozone says:

        It boils down to “do you believe what the government has told you?” or not. Our judicial system is supposed to allow defendants the right to a trial in which guilt must be proved, not innocence.

        If a defendant/defendant counsel can make a reasonable argument that all the footage should be scoured through, a judge may well grant them that, grant them limited right of review, or come up with some other scheme to reassure everyone that there is no exculpatory evidence in the 44000 hrs of videos in question. Do I personally think it’s a reasonable argument to give defense counsel access to all the footage? No, I do not. I’m also not a judge overseeing any of these cases, nor am I privy to information that other may have on the matter that are not public. Let’s see what judges and appeals courts say about this as time marches on.

  7. soundgood2 says:

    The facts as I understand them surrounding the release of the video to Tucker Carlson is that his producers were given access to a viewing terminal and that they would have to ask for particular clips to be released. What we don’t know is if they were allowed, for example, to bring any recording devices into the viewing area. We don’t know who will be reviewing their requests for clips or if any have been made. I expect there are some machinations going on that we are unaware of. The viewing terminal was provided at the request of a congressman on a committee with oversight of Capitol grounds and from what I understand, he or they lied about their reason for the request in order to get that access. We can only hope that the attention the news media, etc, is paying to this issue will result in some actual restraints being put on the release of the material to Tucker’s people. We might end up with just a bunch of stories about how Dems are hiding footage from the public to protect themselves. That might actually work better for them. The unknown cannot be refuted.

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