CNN host John King on Tuesday exposed the hypocrisy of Fox News hosts Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade and Laura Ingraham, who privately called for then-President Donald Trump to ask rioters to go home on Jan. 6.
During a panel discussion on CNN, King played clips that juxtaposed texts the hosts sent to then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows with statements the same hosts made on the air on the evening of Jan. 6.
"The president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy," Ingraham wrote in a text message to Meadows.
But on the air that night, the Fox News host downplayed the violence.
"It was not a terrorist attack," she told her audience on Jan. 6. "It wasn't 9/11, it wasn't the worst thing that ever happened to America, it wasn't an insurrection."
King also looked at a text from Fox News host Brian Kilmeade.
"Please get him on TV... destroying everything you have accomplished," Kilmeade texted.
King then showed a clip of Kilmeade defending Trump's incitement of the violence.
"He was not saying go take the Capitol," Kilmeade said on Jan. 11. "He was going to go protest at the Capitol. He wasn't saying take the bike racks and throw them."
The CNN host gave Hannity the same treatment, juxtaposing his texts to Meadows to on-air statements downplaying the riot.
"The hypocrisy!" King said following the clips. "Number one, everything they did violated journalism ethics, reaching out to Mark Meadows. But number two -- they're not journalists -- number two, the hypocrisy. To pretend it didn't happen. On that day it was urgent, on that day the president has to do something, on that day the president has to save his legacy [and] then by that night on TV, [the riot was] not a big deal. And to this day, [the riot was] not a big deal."
"It just tells you again why it is so critical to get to the full truth of that day," he added.