- CNBC anchor Shepard Smith cut his producers off from airing President Donald Trump’s taped message to his supporters as they swarmed the US Capitol on Wednesday.
- “Stop — stop the tape,” Smith said as Trump said the election was “stolen from us.”
- “That is not true and we are not airing it,” Smith said. “It’s a bald-faced lie, and it is the kind of rhetoric that has led us to this moment.”
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On Wednesday, CNBC anchor Shep Smith abruptly cut his producers off from broadcasting President Donald Trump’s message to supporters as they stoked violence and chaos on Capitol Hill.
Trump opened the taped message by reiterating his nonsense claim that the 2020 election “was stolen from us.”
“It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now,” Trump said to his supporters.
“Stop,” Smith told his producers as they cut off the message. “Stop the tape. That is not true, and we are not airing it. That is — imagine a height of irresponsibility. The president of the United States just lied again. The president of the United States just said that the election was stolen. It was not.”
“We know that the election was not stolen because it has played its way out through the courts,” Smith continued, referring to the dozens of legal defeats the Trump campaign and Republicans have faced in courts across the country in their efforts to throw out the election results in battleground states the president lost.
“All of this has been litigated through the courts. His own Justice Department, his own handpicked judges — that’s yesterday’s news,” Smith continued. “The president of the United States has just returned to the rhetoric of a stolen election, and it’s a lie. It’s a bald-faced lie, and it is the kind of rhetoric that has led us to this moment.”
Trump’s supporters descended on the Capitol Wednesday afternoon as Congress convened to count up each state’s electoral votes for either Trump or President-elect Joe Biden.
Ahead of the joint session, Trump whipped his supporters up into a frenzy at a “March for Trump” rally in the nation’s capital during which he ginned up nonsense conspiracy theories about widespread nationwide voter fraud, a rigged election, faulty voting machines, and global Democratic-run cabals working to steal the White House from Trump.
The president has spent months pushing these claims and saying that the only way he would lose the November general election was if it was “stolen” from him. But as Business Insider has previously reported, there is no factual evidence supporting any of these assertions, and in fact the 2020 election was the safest and most secure in US history.
Still, mobs of the president’s supporters swarmed the Capitol building on Wednesday, breaching barriers, clashing with police, vandalizing and stealing property, breaking windows, and forcing lawmakers, Hill staffers, and reporters to evacuate the premises.
NBC’s Tom Winter reported that six people, including one law-enforcement officer, were taken to the hospital as a result of the violence.
—Tess Owen (@misstessowen) January 6, 2021
—Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
Multiple photos and videos showed congressional lawmakers preparing to wear gas masks as Trump supporters made their way toward the House and Senate chambers. Other photos showed mobs waving Confederate flags outside the Senate chamber and around the Capitol.
—Rebecca Tan (@rebtanhs) January 6, 2021
Some photos showed a noose erected outside the building.
“His followers have overtaken the people’s halls and we have not heard from the president,” Smith said earlier in his broadcast. “Where are we as a nation?”
“When this day began, our mission as a news organization was to begin to turn the page, to let the rancor and the partisan division be part of our memory,” he said, adding that he wanted to discuss the Georgia Senate runoffs and what the implications were for Biden’s term in office.
“Our plan was to discuss who would be leading the different chairmanships on Capitol Hill, what those chairmanships would mean, how the dialogue would change,” Smith said. “Questions for the future. All of that’s gone now because we have chaos in Washington.”